Self-Sculpting Sand Robots Can Duplicate Any Object
MIT researchers from the Distributed Robotics Laboratory are working on the very first steps towards nano-bot technology. In their “Smart Sand” project, the researches hope to make tiny, sand-grain-sized, self-contained computers that can duplicate any object.
One day, the researchers imagine that you will be able to deposit an object into a box of sand-grain-sized computers and pull out a full-size replica of the original object a few seconds later. The team has demonstrated that its smart cubes can already build 2D objects, and computer simulations show that the duplication algorithm will work with 3D objects, too. The real test will come when researchers attempt to decrease the size of the grains while retaining enough computational power and electrical power.