Nanobots Are One Step Closer

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Nanobots Are One Step Closer

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Microscopic repair machines have been a staple of science fiction for decades. Now that they have motors, they're one swim closer to reality.

Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, Metal Gear Solid and System Shock 2 have all relied on the idea of tiny machines(nanobots/nanites) that can alter the body's makeup at a microscopic level. The advancement of technology has already made microscopic electronics possible- the problem was getting the darn things to move.

Conventional electrical motors have a lower limit of the millimeter dimension where the resistance to movement becomes almost impossible to overcome. (Physicists can see a similar effect in surface tension.)

Now, research reported in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering has demonstrated a motor about twice the size of a human hair. This latest research uses piezoelectric materials, which typically are crystals that expand and contract when voltage is applied to them.

Professor James Friend of the University of Monash, Australia, has already produced work last year on a motor about the size of a grain of salt, but they were still linear motors (back and forth). To perform real movement, the motors need to be able to rotate.

This has been overcome by building a "screw" into the motor, so that a forward motion at the right time also rotates the motor, in a similar way that bacteria move with their tails.

The prototype "spinning motor" is only a quarter of a millimeter wide, 70% smaller than its nearest competitor.

Source: BBC

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This is looking very interesting. Bionic limbs, and now nanomachines. The futuristic age set in sci fi and videogames is coming closer all the time.

Right then, all we need is teleportion, faster than light travel & the gravity gun.

I personally think that nanobots are the cure for cancer. Surely you could program them to effectively identify and eliminate cancerous cells, then inject a few of them into the bloodstream? And I thought of this and haven't heard anybody else mention it, though somebody else probably has thought of it, but if you steal my idea I will hunt you down and atleast ask you where you got the idea from. And if you stole it from me, I may go so far as to demand an apology.

Just make sure they can differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous cells. That'd be bad, if they started killing every cell in your body from the inside out. And that's the plot for an apocolyptic movie right there.

iain62a:
Right then, all we need is teleportion, faster than light travel & the gravity gun.

I'll settle with the latter.

Hooray, one step closer to the world of Metal Gear Solid! /shot

ElephantGuts:
I personally think that nanobots are the cure for cancer. Surely you could program them to effectively identify and eliminate cancerous cells, then inject a few of them into the bloodstream? And I thought of this and haven't heard anybody else mention it, though somebody else probably has thought of it, but if you steal my idea I will hunt you down and atleast ask you where you got the idea from. And if you stole it from me, I may go so far as to demand an apology.

Just make sure they can differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous cells. That'd be bad, if they started killing every cell in your body from the inside out. And that's the plot for an apocolyptic movie right there.

Yeah, nano-machines could be the perfect killing machines. It's scary to think about how technology will be in 20-50 years from today.

I don't trust robots in my blood! They're bound to get something wrong and something terrible will happen.

ElephantGuts:
That'd be bad, if they started killing every cell in your body from the inside out. And that's the plot for an apocolyptic movie right there.

Michael Crichton's Prey, if I remember rightly.

The_root_of_all_evil:

ElephantGuts:
That'd be bad, if they started killing every cell in your body from the inside out. And that's the plot for an apocolyptic movie right there.

Michael Crichton's Prey, if I remember rightly.

I looked that book up, sounds good. I should get my hands on it some time. I knew someone must have thought of that already. The good thing being that that book is one step closer to becoming reality. Or, the bad thing I guess.

That's incredible! Wow, I really get excited when I think about all the neat stuff I'll see in my lifetime. Especially because stuff like this is already happening. What's the next step?

it will be wierd when you can just inject yourself with for lack of a better word a "health pack" containing nanomites that will repair damage in your body.

...Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

ElephantGuts:

The_root_of_all_evil:

ElephantGuts:
That'd be bad, if they started killing every cell in your body from the inside out. And that's the plot for an apocolyptic movie right there.

Michael Crichton's Prey, if I remember rightly.

I looked that book up, sounds good. I should get my hands on it some time. I knew someone must have thought of that already. The good thing being that that book is one step closer to becoming reality. Or, the bad thing I guess.

And, of course, they can do worse...
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Mum-mmy?

If these things get implemented and then people start to randomly die.. I will blame FoxDie...

This is pretty cool. I hadn't realized that they were this far along toward nano-machines.

Just another step on the path to posthuman. Gotta love Nanotechnology!

I am the very model of a Singularitarian,
I'm combination transhuman, immortalist, extropian ~

(here it is on YouTube, it's a fun little take on a possible high-tech future set to a somewhat recognisable tune)

I'm a bit picky in my terminology: these are microbots, not nanobots. They'll work at a cellular level, not a molecular level. Microbots are possible to build, nano impossible. Mind you, that's just a nomenclature thing and generally it all goes by the name 'nanotechnology' anyways.

Nitpicks aside, these things are still freaking awesome and have huge potential. Among the (non-evil) uses for them, the best is in medicine. For a good example in Sci-Fi, read The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer. A company there invents and does a pitch for these kinds of robots, and pretty much detail how awesome they are. Oh, and it's an awesome book and author anyways.

Bionics FTW
oops, sorry for that.
When cyborgian equipment hits the market, I will immediately go and have my eyes implanted with zooming equipment.

51gunner:
I'm a bit picky in my terminology: these are microbots, not nanobots. They'll work at a cellular level, not a molecular level. Microbots are possible to build, nano impossible. Mind you, that's just a nomenclature thing and generally it all goes by the name 'nanotechnology' anyways.

True, I was having difficulty in writing this to whether they were micro, nano, pico, groucho or zeppo-bots.

I stuck with nanobots as that's the most often used term.

now all we need is a practical application for robots too small to house a brain with current computer technology...

lol just getting nanobots to work? Nanobots have been around for about a decade, don't worry though, I control them....oh wait, worry!

You forgot Deus Ex.

My vision is augmented.

I can't wait for this shit.
I submit my body to be used for experiments.
I need free medical!
I should just move to Canada.

Oh god I want these things in my bloodstream..NOW.

OMFG NO! Stop the madness we can not validate Hideo Kojima. Other then that yes please I want nanobots.

iain62a:
Right then, all we need is teleportion, faster than light travel & the gravity gun.

dont forget the portal gun

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Still waiting for Fifth.

People will probably be given nano machines at birth if not getting them from their mothers eventually and all illness shall cease and be fine with these little things performing upkeep on the human body, the possibilities are endless.

An infinite possibility for both good and evil though, weaponisation shortly after anything positive but probably vice versa.

guardian001:
now all we need is a practical application for robots too small to house a brain with current computer technology...

All they really need is enough room to house a signal reciever of some kind.

One step closer to gas-mask wearing zombies crying for their mummies.

I praise the technology on the medical terms and aid for people. Cure cancer, aid in the imunne system, finding DVT befre it triggers and repairing danaged cells. But it really actually scares me how it could be used militarily. Especially if they use it as a direct weapon attack.

MindBullets:
One step closer to gas-mask wearing zombies crying for their mummies.

Don't worry, all we need to do is say "Go to your room!" and they'll back off.

iain62a:
Right then, all we need is teleportion, faster than light travel & the gravity gun.

If I recall correctly teleportation is entirely possible but the amount of energy it would require is absolutely tremendous.

Gollon:

iain62a:
Right then, all we need is teleportion, faster than light travel & the gravity gun.

If I recall correctly teleportation is entirely possible but the amount of energy it would require is absolutely tremendous.

I think it's not so much that it's the energy requirements, but to teleport anything of significant size you'd need to be able to store ridiculous amounts of data about it, like a hard drive the size of a planet. That's probably hyperbole, but you get the drift.

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