Re: Telenanoactuaction: an interesting possibility...

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 12:10:18 MST

On 22 Mar 2000, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> g_luxmast <> writes:
> > I was thinking if with the theories just known, there is any
> > possibility of teleactuating in nanoscale. For example telemoving
> > individual atoms ...
> To my knowledge there are no such ways that work over macroscopic
> distances.
> The problem is that to hold an atom, you need some kind of field (most
> likely an electromagnetic field) around it, and since they tend to
> fall off with the square (or more) of the distance the range is rather
> limited.

Anders, it depends what is meant by the "teleactuate" in this question.
At the last Foresight conference, there was a very nice force-feedback
AFM that you could actually *use* (very cool). You could scan across
and "feel" the bumps in the atomic surface. Now if the "tele-" in
the question is as in "tele-medicine", I could easily see you controlling
a device like this in Germany from Sweeden. The net delays are going to
start to get you going from Sweeden to Maryland. If you have a direct
connection you could probably do it to the moon, but certainly much farther
(no way with Mars).

I'm not sure of its use though. I thought it might be useful for
opening nanobombs, but then I realized that nanobombs (in small
quantities) aren't dangerous to us anyway. They could do
a nasty number on your AFM tip, so you are might have to replace
those at a fairly fast rate. Given the difficulties with this
currently, you probably want the lab pretty close.

So I would say that the answer is yes, you could telemove individual
with only a modest recombining of current technologies. The jury
is still out on psychokinesis however. :-)


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