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German nanoTruck causes envy

Germany has a traveling nanotech roadshow called the nanoTruck, apparently the brainchild of nanopromoter and Federal Minister for Education and Research, Ms. Edelgard Bulmahn. There's a form to use to request a visit by the nanoTruck — do they ship to the U.S.? (As for who is envious, that would be me.)

6 Responses to “German nanoTruck causes envy”

  1. RobertBradbury Says:

    But it isn't nanoscale…

    When I first read this post I thought they actually had a nanoscale "truck".

    But it isn't that — its a macroscale truck that can drive around and provide education about nanoscale technologies. :-(

  2. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Re:But it isn't nanoscale…

    That is pretty sad Robert :( But I have some questions for you and others: 1 Will true nanotechnology (molecular manufacturing/Assemblers) make life less stressful or more stressful? My personal answer seems to be this: Some things will become less stressful, such as it will be cheaper and easier for people to get the material assembled goods they need and desire. Other things will become more stressful, much more, such as how to protect and defend against insane and murderous people armed with assembler-based weapons. 2 Does one need to know anything or do anything about the atomic nuclei at the core of an atom's electron cloud, to have any practical results/repercussions in the field of molecular nanotechnology/assembler manufacturing, or, can we basically ignore the nucleus, and concentrate only on the outer molecular orbitals/electron clouds?

  3. RobertBradbury Says:

    Re:But it isn't nanoscale…

    1) I think you have to look at it the same way you have to look at other technologies — guns for example. They allowed humans to significantly increase their supply of protein and most probably improved their health. They also caused a vast amount of harm. It may be worth noting that with advanced nanorobotic systems installed in the human body (e.g. vasculoid) it becomes much more difficult to harm humans — even for "assembler-based weapons" (IMO). Assembler-based weapons don't seem (to me) to represent much of a threat if you have "assembler-based defenses". People always seem to forget that.

    2) For the most part one can ignore the nucleus. There are some specific applications such as the nanorobot nuclear power source based on Gd148 discussed in Nanosystems Vol. I where one has to pay attention to the nucleus. [Gd148 is not natural and must therefore be synthesized.] There are also some specific applications where specific isotopes have slightly better properties (such as heat conduction) so isotopic purification would be useful. It is worth noting that we can achieve isotopic purification today using macroscale technologies. Nanotechnology will most likely make it much cheaper however.

  4. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Re:But it isn't nanoscale…

    I have another question for you: Do you believe specialization for nano medical machines will be similiar to specialization for other nanotech, like assemblers? Ie, instead of a universal assembler, we will likely see many types of specialized assemblers. So, is the idea of a "Universal Nano Medical healing machine" that is implanted in a person once for life, and which gets rid of ALL medical problems, and which heals all medical/cellular problems, not as realistic as a whole host of specialized/designed nano medical devices?

  5. ChrisPhoenix Says:

    Re:But it isn't nanoscale…

    Most products will not be assemblers. Assemblers make products. Products usually don't need to make products.

    And we'll be using large nanofactories, not assemblers–they're more efficient and can more easily make large products. Here's how to design a nanofactory: take the working parts of 10^15 assemblers, fasten them to a support framework for easy control, add a bit of robotics to grab their output and combine it into a product, and put a box around the whole thing.

    So we're likely to see a general-purpose nanofactory, and yes, lots of specialized products built with it.


  6. RobertBradbury Says:

    Nanomedical machines

    As discussed by Robert Freitas in multiple papers and several textbooks, it is generally thought that medical "nanorobots" will be highly specialized. It is doubtful that they will include any kind of general purpose assembler capabilities. It is also unlikely that they will be capable of "universal healing". They will generally speaking have the tools for and program for specific functions. Physicians will likely add them and remove them as necessary to solve specific problems (think of them as intelligent drugs). As Chris points out, one manufactures macroscale objects in macroscale nanofactories. The same would be true for manufacturing large numbers of nanorobots for specific therapeutic purposes. It might well be reasonable to compare the quantities (mass) of drugs (and/or vitamins) people typically consume to the quantities of nanorobots people would typically utilize. The only difference might be that in many cases the nanorobots can probably be reused.

    It is likely that nanorobots will be able to perform activities that would result in long term solutions. For example Vasculocytes removing arteriosclerotic lesions may only need to be used for a brief period. Similarly Microbivores may only need to be used in the case of severe infections. On the other hand there are advantages to having Respirocytes installed on a permanent basis.

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