One step toward nanofactories for atomically precise manufacturing would be the development of nanoscale production lines for assembling molecular cargo or other nanostructures into larger functional devices. … A hat tip to nanotech-now for drawing our attention to this news release from Prof. [Viola] Vogel’s group at ETH Zürich announcing an important proof of principle demonstration …
NOTE: This item was posted to Nanodot on Sept. 1. Although the dates for registering and attending the webinar are past, it is of interest to know that DARPA has launched an initiative that appears to support the goal of developing atomically precise manufacturing. We hope to provide further news of this program in future Nanodot posts and Updates.
One of the most innovative funding agencies has announced a new program aimed at assembling three-dimensional systems from the “atomic scale.”
DARPA will explain the new initiative in a webinar on September 9 and 11. Deadline for registering is September 5 at 5 PM Eastern time for US citizens; see the DARPA site for non-US citizen registration info.
Long-term readers of Nanodot will be familiar with the work of Richard Jones, a UK physicist and author of Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life … An illuminating interview of Richard Jones over at h+ Magazine not only presents Jones’s current views, but spotlights the lack of substantial effort since 2008 in trying to resolve these issues “Going Soft on Nanotech“ …
Molecular machines are a central component of efforts to develop atomically precise manufacturing. Optical microscopy and optical trap manipulation of single molecules, made possible by attachment of micrometer-scale beads, have facilitated greater understanding of the workings of biomolecular machines. … Until now, however, it has not been possible to use similar approaches to study smaller synthetic molecular machines, with typical length scales on the order of one nm. …
Nanotech promises more commonplace access to advanced technology as material and fabrication costs fall and traditional barriers to innovation are removed. Examples are already being seen globally: more access to laptops and cell phones in developing countries, desktop 3D printers, a surge in establishment of shared-use research facilities, etc.
A couple recent cases getting attention on GigaOm.com include the latest release of RISC-based open source chip from UC Berkeley, and self-folding ‘origami’ robots developed at the Wyss Institute …
Speaking of big computation, cyberspace isn’t yet as potent as Neal Stephenson portrayed in Snow Crash and subsequent books, but it’s getting there. A new article in the Wall Street Journal online titled Can World of Warcraft Game Skills Help Land a Job? states that some job seekers are adding gaming skills to their resumes to indicate their ability to work productively in large, remote teams …
What 3D printers are doing to facilitate fabrication, 3D drawing programs are surpassing to facilitate design. As described at ScienceDaily.com, two systems referred to as “powerful” and “spectacular” are being highlighted at the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference in Vancouver this week …
Photovoltaics are an interesting case where atomic precision is not necessary to achieve potentially dramatic global impacts. Even an “ok efficiency” device that is easy to manufacture with reduced environmental hazard could have significant beneficial effects on energy resources and on device fabrication processes (which could, in turn, contribute to developments toward APM).
The struggle to balance ease of manufacture and device efficiency is a major driver behind current research efforts. Two recent publications out of Massachusetts alone make the point …
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Foreseeing Future Technologies
Advancements in technologies such as nanotech, robotics, and biotech are promising to make major differences in our lives in the not-too-distant future, as the Industrial Revolution did to the agrarian world — to do for the physical world what the computer and Internet have done to the world of information.
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