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back to article Scientists refine smart self-assembling building blocks

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have shown how to code smart substances that can automatically copy an object and reproduce it. The team from MIT's Distributed Robotics Laboratory have developed a testable algorithm that uses interlinking smart systems – in this case, "smart pebbles." These are …

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Mushroom

I for one..

I for one welcome our new replicator overlords!

*The Aasgard almost got wiped out by them, what chance do we have!

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Silver badge

Soon to develop into ...

... smart dust or a hegemonising swarm. Either way, we're doomed.

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Silver badge

Re: Soon to develop into ...

Well, that prognosis is a tad drastic and far too fatalistic, frank ly. Certainly are you doomed to be confronted with radical and fundamental change in most unexpected and pleasant fashions/novel memes.

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Devil

What are they thinking ??

These people really need to get out the lab and see more movies.

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Gold badge
Boffin

self replicating tinkers toys were frist demonstrated in the late 1950s

Hopefully this tech will be incorporated into something more useful.

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Stop

Re: self replicating tinkers toys were frist demonstrated in the late 1950s

......and Babbage designed a difference engine in the 19th century....

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Terminator

John Connor?

I think he went to the Galleria.

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Holmes

now if only they could make 'em 3D, expand the memory to... say... roughly 800MB, get the size down to about 50µm and assemble some 100 trillion of them, you know what they could build?

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Childcatcher

I want...

....my multi morphing "power cube" that can turn into a gun or sword or mp3 player or ...........

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Bronze badge
Boffin

I doubt it will be a "steady rate of shrinkage"

I'd assume the rate of shrinkage would be exponential, in which case we'll drop below 250µm (the upper limit of fine sand according to Wikipedia) in a smidgen over 17 years.

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Boffin

Re: I doubt it will be a "steady rate of shrinkage"

Why would you assume that, when such a device at such a scale is completely unimaginable with current technology, even if Moore's law were to continue unstopped for another 17 years (which it probably won't)?

For instance, never mind miniaturization, think about surface area to volume ratios.

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Boffin

32KB !

> can also only run 32KB of program code with around 2KB of memory.

pfft, kids today, in my day that was more than the program code, the memory, the OS and the screen RAM combined. And we liked it!

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