So, the strongest of my current characters is a happy little cloud, that's composed of nanomachines (well, not exactly nano, it's well in the micro prefix, but individual parts obviously require nanotechnology) and I struggle to pin down its fighting style and "strength"

The properties of a nanite:

  • Basically the robotic version of a fairyfly.
  • Its outer shell is made out of high-entropy alloys
  • It possesses some computing power.
  • Its antennas are elongated.
  • A unit can connect to others by linking either the legs or the antenna together with another unit's legs or antennae.
  • They have Lithium batteries, with a little help, to charge faster

The swarms:

  • Usually, share data and energy through induction
  • Alternatively, Tamás Tihanyi can send them energy, and only energy from afar.
  • Can vary in size, from 1 cm^3 to 1000 m^3, there are even larger swarms, but we're currently ignoring them
  • Density is also variable, usually 0,1 g/cm^3

My question is, what kind of armament could they use against bulk (you, and your inanimate belongings) and similarly sized (fellow nanite) enemies?

Priorities (from high to low):

  • Efficiency
  • Damage
  • Costs

I know these are two separate questions, but as one's influence on the other is likely great, they should be addressed together.


closed as too broad by elemtilas, Feaurie Vladskovitz, rek, Cyn, Don Qualm Feb 22 at 7:30

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ How does fighting against Humans and other mammals influence how to fight other small/tiny machines? $\endgroup$ – Soan Feb 15 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Soan Well, nanites need to be economic with their power, and carrying two sets of weapons is sorta detrimental, I think. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 15 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ Who the love is Tamás? $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 15 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Renan He's a meme. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 16 at 8:26
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    $\begingroup$ Two questions = two posts. If one could greatly influence the other, ask that question first. VTC OT:TB. $\endgroup$ – JBH Feb 16 at 18:44

Solution 1:

Against Humans:

If the Humans aren't fully armored your machines can simply use a sting to insert nanobots into the human blood system or into the brain where they can destroy vital parts of the body. Either destroy connections between brain parts or clog important blood veins.

Against fellow machines:

The nanobots could destroy the connections between the processor and the wings removing the mobility of the machine.

Solution 2:

Against Humans:

Use a toxin that is already lethal in very small amounts.

Against fellow machines:

Ideally the toxin used to fight Humans would be corrosive at the same time to also be used against other machines.

  • $\begingroup$ The OP established that their "nanobots" are in the micro range, at ~150 micrometers, rather than cellular scale. They wouldn't be injecting smaller nanobots. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Feb 15 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @jdunlop Doesn't mean that there are none? There still could be Nanobots the OP only stated that the machines in question are bigger. $\endgroup$ – Soan Feb 15 at 21:58

Against anything - coat the target in nanites and break the target down into it's component molecules. For complex machinery, start at the joints to immobilize the target.

  • $\begingroup$ How would they break them down? $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 16 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ Just start breaking off pieces. The fancy word is "mechanical digestion" $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Feb 16 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ Can I vibrate the mandibles? $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 16 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ Of course. They're your nanites. That's a common strategy in improving the cutting ability of a tool - think of an electric knife or a jackhammer for examples of the principle $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Feb 16 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ I had leafcutter ants in mind, but okay. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 16 at 14:22

Large creatures.

It is an easy thing for the nanites to take over the body of a large creature. First they go up the nose or through the ear and incapacitate the higher functions of the brain. Then they distribute themselves throughout the neurons, and take over the role of the brain in running the creature. In their favored species, they can replicate any action the creature could do in life and also perform many that such creatures would never have tried.

Large creatures are preferable because they have large neurons and as pointed out, the nanites are small but not microscopic. Larger neurons are easier. As neurons get smaller the precision of control decreases and movements of the commandeered creature get rough and jerky. Humans are on the small end of what they can commandeer. They have their uses, but a nanite commandeered human would not pass for normal very long.

Large creatures are great for fighting other large creatures, although better is to commandeer other large creatures if there are enough excess nanites available. Large creatures are also great for fighting other nanites - they can inhale or ingest them. Should the opposing nanite force gain access thru the eye or ear and try to hijack the commandeered creature it will be hand to hand fighting with the home team.


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