Re: Submolecular nanotech [WAS: Goals]

Raymond G. Van De Walker (
Tue, 25 May 1999 21:21:56 PDT

On 24 May 1999 17:06:47 +0200 Anders Sandberg <> writes:
>"Raymond G. Van De Walker" <> writes:
>> I predict it will be the second thing constructed after a true
>I would be surprised, it is after all a sophisticated mechanism
>relying on group cooperation of trillions of foglets, each containing
>nanocomputers, microscale actuators, sensors and
>networking. Obviously, nanocomputers will have to be developed first.

Agreed, but nanocomputers are required for efficient assemblers, and do not
constitute a new class of invention. Besides, nanocomputers might be pretty trivial. I think all we really need is a good Verilog compiler for nano-scale systems, and the computer problem is fixed, to a first approximation. Motorola can then just compile their current u-controller source to nanonic form. We will then have nanonic Power PCs. We night not even need new compilers! Of course later, more optimized processors are likely, but this would get things moving.

ufog is a distinctly different product, with unique value, and the possibility to cause major economic and military dislocations. Significantly, it is _not_ a medical product, and thus does not fall under medical regulatory laws, which makes it far less risky than most transhumanizing technologies.

As for cooperation, the obvious way is to have a ufog description language, analogous to Postscript, maybe some variant of VRML. There's gobs of foglets, but that means there's gobs of processors, too. One may as well use them.

By analogy, just think how hard it is to describe all those millions of dots on the printed page! How could people ever manage it !?

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