Nanofactory Animation

July 15th, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Future, Nanotech, Video | 5 Comments »

The long anticipated Nanofactory animation, titled “Productive Nanosystems: from Molecules to Superproducts” by Lizard Fire Studios with the support of Nanorex, is now version 1.0. [animation] [slide show]

Thanks, John!

5 Comments on “Nanofactory Animation”

  1. 1 Mike Treder said at 7:59 am on July 15th, 2005:

    A) That animation is superb. Congratulations to John Burch and Eric Drexler.
    B) Future Feeder is one of the best sites of its kind that I have seen. Nice design + content.
    C) To keep up with the latest technical progress and future implications of advanced nanotechnology, I’d suggest that you link to the Responsible Nanotechnology blog.


  2. 2 roy sablosky said at 12:32 pm on July 17th, 2005:

    Superb animation, showing with great clarity just how implausible this whole scenario is. I mean, those orders upon orders of little manipulators — how did those get built? How do we know they’re doing what we wanted them to? Where’s the error correction? OK I’m not an expert. And I don’t deny that some sort of molecular assembler will be invented at some point. But this… it just looks wrong. If anyone out there strongly disagrees with me, I’d appreciate being pointed to a good counter-argument.

  3. 3 Mike Treder said at 7:15 pm on July 17th, 2005:

    Roy, you’re right, to many people this does appear implausible, but a lot of thought and serious design work has gone into these concepts. For example, take a look at this 80-page peer-reviewed paper, “Design of a Primitive Nanofactory,” or this extensive survey called “Molecular Manufacturing: What, Why and How.” Many questions have been addressed, including error correction, power supply, data transmission, and so on. Obviously, there is still a great deal of work to do, but it’s not fantasy — someday soon it could be reality.

  4. 4 Danila said at 3:58 pm on August 2nd, 2005:

    I’d like to give a more general answer to Roy. First, it is absolutely true that a nanofactory is an incredibly complex system. In fact, this is the primary reason why we don’t have them yet, even though we already posess the capability to position atoms precisely.

    But if you examine the progress of our various technologies in detail, you would realise that they have been steadily increasing in complexity. What used to be lumps of metal are now intricate shapes, designed with a sub-millimetre precision using CAD-tools, filled with microprocessors, a variety of sensors and what not.

    We are gradually moving from making products out of dumb matter to making them from “smart matter”, but if you do not pay attention, you are probably not aware of it, because on the outside they look similar. A Model T is quite similar to the latest Ford Fusion 2006 in shape and function, but the new model is already a few orders of magnitude more complex.

    It won’t happen overnight, but we will continue designing and producing more and more complex systems. Talking specifically about nanotechnology, Millipede is an example of where this increase in complexity on the structural level is taking us. Step by step, year by year, technology will become more complex and eventually it will become possible to design and produce such nanofactories.

    And of course, these would be built using slightly less advanced technologies, those developed a few years before. But the beauty of it is that once you have some molecular manufacturing capability, you can build zillions of small parts that can be later assembled in larger nanofactories. And when you have one nanofactory (or a nanoassembler), you can build an unlimited number of them at essentially zero cost.

    This animation doesn’t show all complexity of the real nanofactory, because, frankly, they are at least 15-20 years ahead of us. If we could design one for a 3D movie, we would be able to design one for real. The video doesn’t show error correction, programmatic control, material transport and many other things. But beleive me, people who work on this kind of stuff actually do know that those are important and they do design possible ways of implementing them. But for the purposes of making an educational video these details can be easily omitted.

  5. 5 shaun said at 5:41 am on March 19th, 2006:

    Astounding invention! An extroadinary technology ! i should say ‘I am afraid the future is already here today ‘ !!!

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