Questions tagged [nanotechnology]

For questions about technology that works with sizes of less than 100 nanometers, often the manipulation of individual molecules.

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Using nanotech to create a “disintegrator”

Inspired by the Orion’s Arm project’s “disassembler swarms”, I am trying to design a similar weapon which, in a fit of originality, (🤣) I have dubbed the “disintegrator”. It is a handheld weapon that ...
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15 votes
15 answers
3k views

Justifying why a nanoassembler can only produce inorganic things

So, in the 24th century, advanced nanofactories are developed capable of producing any conceivable product; clothing, electronics, even nanotech, provided it is of inorganic nature. However, it is ...
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-2 votes
3 answers
126 views

Life in a post-scarcity economy [closed]

Quoting Wikipedia, a post-scarcity is a theoretical economic situation in which most goods can be produced in great abundance with minimal human labor needed, so that they become available to all very ...
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6 votes
6 answers
580 views

How do we stop a gray goo disaster? [duplicate]

Let us imagine a scenario where the apocalypse has come in the form of gray goo: tiny nanotech replicators that are set to consume all the biomass on Earth while replicating themselves. Humans, oddly ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
144 views

What biological functions robots will never be able to replicate no matter how advanced robotics become? [closed]

Well I have seen advances on soft robotics and robotics in general and many of these breakthroughts include biomimetism or bionics which is a subarea of robotics that attempt to create machines that ...
3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Cooling body suit inside another insulated suit

So in my story the protagonist is a genetically enhanced vigilante that uses a full bulletproof jumpsuit in her activities. But because of her accelerated metabolism, dealing with the heat of getting ...
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3 votes
1 answer
119 views

Hypothetical energy sources for a picotech utility fog civilzation?

Imagine an (ultra) high-tech civilization that has access to, say 1031 bits of unique usable data (Type Z on Sagan's "Information Mastery" scale), and is capable of harnessing and utilizing ...
0 votes
4 answers
247 views

What colors could a pool of nanorobots be? [closed]

The classic color for a mass of nanorobots is gray (or "grey" for British nanobots). As far as I can tell, this color has been enshrined in the public consciousness by the Gray Goo disaster ...
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6 votes
1 answer
103 views

Plausible explanation for the ability to mechanically switch dominant hands

Is there a plausible explanation for some sort of theoretical technology that manipulates the character's primary motor cortex into being ambidextrous? For example, a character loses their right arm ...
5 votes
9 answers
1k views

How would Utility fog grey goo travel through space?

An advanced alien species in my story created smart matter similar to utility fog, nanobots with extendable arms which link to form programmed structures. When the species moves to new locations a ...
2 votes
4 answers
400 views

How to explain magic scientifically? [closed]

I'm writing a story and I'm having trouble finding credible explanations for certain elements of it. Basically, in the late 2090s, technology has advanced to the point that it is possible to ...
4 votes
2 answers
192 views

Metabolic cost of changing the chirality of amino acids and sugars

The aliens in my story have biochemistry that uses amino acids and sugars with chirality opposite to that of terrestrial life. The aliens also have nanites that are capable of changing the chirality ...
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2 votes
3 answers
213 views

At what point could nanobots replace hospitals and medical services?

In my opinion, nanorobotics is the most interesting part of nanotechnology, and medicine and healthcare would be two of the areas that could benefit the most from nanobots. Since nanobots could ...
5 votes
4 answers
668 views

Could nanites be used to increase muscle mass and density

I'm working on a plot where nanites are used to increase muscle size and/or density directly and was wondering what scientific processes would be involved for nanites to do this. From what I ...
2 votes
4 answers
190 views

What countermeasures can robots develop against nanites?

In sci fi TV tropes nanites or nanoscopic are autonomous molecules that can shut down robots by injecting them into their positronic brains, where they house all the important functions that dictates ...
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8 votes
4 answers
944 views

Would silverbloods actually make for better soldiers?

Silverbloods are those whose blood gleam like polished silver when alive and are a dull grey when dead, an image of them bleeding being much like the spilling of mercury. They have the ability to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
109 views

Ways of deploying mind reading technology [closed]

Previous version of this question which is closed because of being too broad. In a dystopian world setting, mind-reading technology is possible (say, with nano-robots or super-chips), but it is ...
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7 votes
7 answers
688 views

How long would a grey goo scenario take to finish coating an earth sized planet?

Okay, so the idea is that humans have found a method to terraform planets by way of an intentionally engineered grey goo scenario. The bots would be used to photosynthesize a sustainable atmosphere by ...
2 votes
2 answers
416 views

My "Fairy Weave" is a transparent/translucent material with high tensile strength and elasticity. What should it be made out of exactly?

So, I've been thinking of materials that I can use on mundane things to make them more "magical". What I found was that many tools don't appear magical, because the materials they're made ...
2 votes
1 answer
144 views

How could interstellar, single-molecule nanobots survive launch?

Civilization X needs to explore nearby exoplanets using nanobots. These nanobots are made of singular (relatively large) molecules. These react with common gases in the atmosphere, acting as a ...
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Would composite armor based on diamonds be useful against firearms?

Under normal circumstances, monolithic diamond is pretty terrible at resisting impact, due to it being weak in certain planes, also known as cleavage planes. To solve this, why don't we just make the ...
7 votes
5 answers
265 views

How would micromachines communicate?

The magic system of Second Earth boils down to "micromachines doing stuff". Of course, there are many layers of complexity to it. These micromachines are produced in the bodies of sapient ...
1 vote
1 answer
517 views

It would be possible to make a shapeshifting human being with our current technology?

Genetic engineering, nanomachines, holograms, all of those could be considerated some kind of shapeshifting "power", however, it is way far fetched for our today technology (except genetic ...
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1 vote
2 answers
188 views

Human Combustion by Nanites

Nanites would likely generate a lot of heat. If a large number of nanites infested a human body, multiplied, and began moving / operating what would be the result? Could the composition of the ...
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Is blocks based life possible?

Blocks are made of polymer compounds or nanomaterials, which can be connected by a tenon-and-mortise structure, just like Lego, but smaller. Some blocks can be powered by solar or other energy, with ...
4 votes
8 answers
3k views

How can humanity survive the Shadow?

A lot of modern warfare is about having the right nuggets in the right place, and getting the information needed to ensure that. Well, that would be the case if it wasn't for the "You go to war ...
2 votes
1 answer
197 views

Fighting a Nanite Attack on a Biological System

How would you fight a nanite attack on a biological system (preferably one that has already incorporated nanites? Assume that the setting is 10 to 20 years in the future and nanites are commonly used ...
5 votes
2 answers
232 views

Post-scarcity disguised as benevolence - what can go wrong? [closed]

TLDR: The worlds richest man has secretly got the ability to make anything at near-zero cost, humanity is technically post-scarcity. But he sells us things anyway, cheaply, and becomes a monopoly, all ...
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13 votes
12 answers
4k views

Keeping the horde of nanomachines at bay?

So, there are three major powers in the setting that can be reasoned with, and a fourth that is just there to destroy. I have a problem with balancing them. The so-called nature spirits are creatures ...
5 votes
8 answers
1k views

What is the quickest way to kill someone using nanobots?

Assume a distant future where all humans have nanobots in their bloodstream that keep them alive indefinitely. Now let's say there is a way to override those nanobots so that they can instantly be ...
2 votes
3 answers
217 views

Scientifically plausible non-WMD parasite/grey-goo clouds?

So, grey goo isn't exactly the most useful thing from a military standpoint, not just because of high-entropy and metastable materials that you can't get chemical energy out of, but also that: Me: ...
0 votes
1 answer
236 views

Ideal material for Von Neumann Probes

So, I understand that a common way to explore the universe and colonise worlds is through Von Neumann Probes. Self-replicating and efficient... except for the fact that, as far as I have seen in ...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to prevent people from creating manipulative AI nanobots?

Set in the future where there is at least one 3D printer in every household, population demographics show aging in every part of the world. In this future, many elites have powerful AI nanobots ...
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10 votes
11 answers
2k views

Homing device for missile, which can be applied remotely

The goal is to find an element which can be applied remotely to a target (like from a laser), and work as a homing device for a missile. (Or at least, to find a homing device which could be applied ...
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3 votes
2 answers
177 views

Would a collective mass of nanobots function properly as a single robot?

In my story, I want to explore a concept similar to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator genisys, with a robot that is in fact composed of millions of nanobots, which thus grants it the ability ...
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3 votes
2 answers
178 views

Is it possible to retrofit white blood cells with neural network technology to fight infection?

I have been toying the idea of fusing our white blood cells which search and destroy malicious foreign bodies with artificial intelligence to fight various disease causing pathogens, my worry is that ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What materials will still be needed to build life-like androids when nanomaterials are available?

In my story I have a group of androids that are able to grow in size from training and repair from damage because of the nanobots that are inside of them. Their skeleton will be made of a carbon ...
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0 votes
2 answers
214 views

How could medical petrification work?

So, turning people into stone. You only have to add reversibility to the mix, and it becomes the BEST paramedical tool available. But, what does petrification need to accomplish to become just that? ...
2 votes
1 answer
353 views

What technologies could be made with the manipulation of quarks?

I’m trying to speculate on manipulating things on the level of quarks for a story. What could I do with that type of technology?
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2 votes
5 answers
354 views

What makes magic artillery more powerful than a non-magic gun?

Magic (which is just ancient technology and not supernatural mumbo jumbo) in this setting is close to what you'd find in the anime Grimoire of Zero. That is to say it has a set of rules and the list ...
13 votes
13 answers
5k views

Could somebody get temporarily stuck/“glued” to a wall by way of energy or some other force?

My story takes place in the future with advanced technology and I have a torture scene where I need prisoners to be immobilized against a wall—-but not permanently. I’m wondering if it could be done ...
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1 vote
2 answers
342 views

How could humans control a body made of nanobots?

My species lives on a world that is filled with very few storms, lush environments, and naturally forming metallic monoliths. The species are like humans, but one thing that sets them apart from ...
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5 votes
3 answers
649 views

Defeating Nanomachines?

Key Information In this universe biomechanical augmentation (similar to Deus Ex 1) has become singular. While they still have a ceiling in terms of upgradability, manufacturing grade (civilian, ...
0 votes
1 answer
303 views

What could be a plausible scientific explanation for a man who has skin made from rock and can manipulate the molecular structure of natural minerals?

Okay, so I want you to think of someone similar to Clayface here, only he's not limited to just clay. What I got for him so far is that he was once an ordinary man until a cluster of specifically-...
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2 votes
1 answer
229 views

What adaptations should a utility fog, that's meant to be an air-fuel explosive, have?

I found a way to ensure that even if either the Japanese Self-Defense Force or the U.S Army invades my fantasy world, its inhabitants would still have a fighting chance. Utiltiy Fog Hall thought ...
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to control a nanobot swarm

Say you somehow invented 50 thousand nanobots that are the size of medium sized bottle caps. Each are capable of hovering for a limited amount of time but do recharge with both solar energy and plug ...
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1 vote
2 answers
230 views

How could the most destructive spell work in my Barrier Magic?

The core concept is a bastardized fusion of utility fogs, and the magical barriers of witches from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Utility fogs are swarms of 100 micrometer robots, foglets, that ...
9 votes
10 answers
2k views

How would a Grey Goo robot compute given that it has no fixed form?

This is something that confuses me with amorphous characters, monsters, robots etc... How do they compute when their particles don't have a fixed form? They are in a sense modular robots only taken to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
181 views

Utility-fog wind?

So, I have this draft for a story. It's basically a parody(?) of the fantasy tropes originating from LOTR (the movies) with the twist that we're following the bad guy's lackeys, who he abuses more ...
1 vote
2 answers
204 views

The most effective, science-based curse for cursed treasure? [closed]

Backstory There is a dragon who zealously guards a large trove of treasure, despite never being able to use it in any practical way. Usual human thinking would say the dragon is the symbol of greed ...