The Tuesday December 14,1999 edition of the Vancouver Sun carried an interesting article from the Washington Post entitled:
World's Tiniest Tweezers Latest Tool for Altering Single Molecules.
"Charles M. Lieber of Harward University and a colleague crafted a pair of "nanotweezers" by attaching two bundles of carbon "nanotubes" to either side of a glass rod. The bundles, a mere 50 nanometers in diameter, open and close when a small jolt of electricity is applied. In tests, the tweezers could manipulate polystyrene spheres 300 nanometers in diameter and semiconductor wires 20 nanometers in diameter."
My thought is that a mechanical computer could soon be built with nanotweezer equiped nanorobots manipulating a nano-abbacus with nanobeads.