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Archive for the 'Roadmaps' Category

Tutorial review of the promise of artificial molecular machines

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 11th, 2011

A tutorial review addresses the distinction between the many simple artificial molecular devices that are currently available and truly effective artificial molecular machines that would mimic the ubiquitous molecular machines present in living systems.

Lecture by Eric Drexler at Oxford on physical law and the future of nanotechnology (video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2011

In a lecture at Oxford Eric Drexler argued that atomically precise manufacturing will be the next great revolution in the material basis of civilization, and discussed how we can establish reliable knowledge about key aspects of such technologies.

Green Nanotechnology Roadmap Highlights Opportunities and Challenges

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 23rd, 2011

A green nanotechnology roadmap released by the American Chemical Society describes the opportunities and barriers to developing commercial applications of nanomaterials that present little threat of harm to health and the environment, and concludes with an action agenda to more forward.

A modular molecular composite nanosystem for solar power

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 17th, 2011

A bacterial virus called M13 was genetically engineered to control the arrangement of carbon nanotubes, improving solar-cell efficiency by nearly one-third.

New software aids design of 3-D DNA structures

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 12th, 2011

New software for scaffolded DNA origami makes it easier to predict what shape will result from a given DNA template.

Much faster directed evolution of proteins could speed development of molecular machine systems

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 25th, 2011

Phage-assisted continuous evolution of proteins is roughly a hundred times faster than conventional laboratory evolution of proteins, perhaps speeding the development of components for molecular machine systems.

Bottom Up as a next step within Top Down

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 30th, 2011

Using proprietary block co-polymer technology, directed self-assembly allows adding block co-polymers that assemble themselves into regular arrays on the surface of a silicon wafer that had been patterned using lithography.

AFM visualization of molecular robot moving along DNA scaffold (with video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 21st, 2011

Researchers in the UK and Japan use atomic force microscopy to visualize a DNA molecular robot moving along a 100-nm DNA track.

Debate: “How do we get there from here?” at SME nano conference

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 4th, 2010

Here we present a special report from Dave Conz of ASU on Josh Hall’s talk and subsequent panel discussion at the SME nanotech conference.  An excerpt: Technoscientific development is difficult to direct and nearly impossible to predict.  Because of this – not in spite of it – panel discussions like “How Do We Get There [...]

Matterhorn sculpture demos 3D patterning at 15 nm level (IBM video)

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 29th, 2010 brings news and a video of a new 3D patterning technique from IBM that reaches down to 15 nm resolution which “could go even smaller”: IBM Research in Zurich has demonstrated a new nanoscale patterning technique that could replace electron beam lithography (EBL). The demonstration carved a 1:5 billion scale three-dimensional model of the [...]

Robo Habilis

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 29th, 2009

One of the species of early hominids is named Homo habilis, meaning “handy man,” after their significant advancement in tool use over previous hominids. One of the goals of the AGI Roadmap is to chart paths to full human intelligence, and one of the paths might follow the one that evolution took. The Wozniak Test, [...]

AGI Roadmap meeting

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 28th, 2009

Foresight’s mission is essentially an educational one.  In simplest terms we are here to point out foreseeable technological developments that not only will make the future different from the past, but make it different in ways that aren’t obvious and which everyone isn’t already planning for. Nanotechnology — true nanotech in Drexler’s original sense of [...]

Accelerating Future » RepRap “Mendel” to be Released Soon!

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 27th, 2009

Accelerating Future » RepRap “Mendel” to be Released Soon!. Nicw round-up with videos of the latest in the Rep-Rap world.

Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 14th, 2009

There’s an excellent round-up over at Next Big Future on the Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing. This is solid freeform fabrication, 3-D printing, stereolithography, rapid prototyping, and so forth. In the long run, 3-D printing is one of the more straightforward paths to full-fledged nanotech with mechanosynthesis. Mechanosynthesis might be seen simply as the ultimate in [...]

Nanoscale Wear

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 10th, 2009

One of the major problems for micromachines, much less nanomachines, is wear. The phenomenon of stiction combines the two worst aspects of surface-to-surface interaction — a high coefficient of friction and a locally-generated high applied force — to cause enormous problems. At the very smallest scale, once we gain complete control over atomic configuration, superlubricity [...]


Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 7th, 2009

There’s a nice article over at the Singularity Hub that’s a round-up of currently-available haptics devices.  They seem primarily excited over the prospects of haptics in gaming, but there are two reasons we’re interested in developments. First is simply telerobotics, as in Feynman Path manipulation.  We want the feedback to help develop an intuitive feel [...]

Self-replicating machines and risk

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on August 3rd, 2009

Engineering and analysis in the field of SRMs is unusual in many ways.  Eric Drexler has posted a paper about differences in evolutionary capacity in mechanical and biological systems that’s worth a look. Purely coincidentally, we at Foresight have been discussing self-replication in the context of the Feynman Path and I came up with an [...]

CCC / CRA Robotics Roadmap

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on July 28th, 2009

The CCC/CRA, a consortium of academic computer science departments (essentially), has a roadmap to future robotics that has some implications for the Feynman Path. Some highlights (from the chapter on manufacturing): Vignette 2: One-of-a-kind, discrete-part manufacture and assembly A small job shop with 5 employees primarily catering to orders from medical devices companies is approached [...]

Feynman’s Path to Nanotech (part 10)

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on July 17th, 2009

Just Do It It’s the 20th anniversary of the first Foresight Conference this year. Over the intervening two decades, one of the most common questions of Foresight members and supporters has been, “What can I do to help with the development of nanotech?”  Foresight has had many useful programs, and encouraged development in many ways [...]

Feynman’s Path to Nanotech (part 9)

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on July 16th, 2009

Scaling KSRM Design Considerations There hasn’t been a lot of work on self-replicating workcells. There’s been plenty on robotic workcells that don’t replicate, but almost all of this falls into the “more complex than what it makes” category. The basic idea goes back to Waldo: imitate a machine shop and the person servicing the machines [...]