I have been doing a lot of reading and research on nanotechologies and the use of Nanobots to assemble structure. This has brought up more questions than answers, but most information that I have found has been the work done by Peter Yeadon and the use of nBots. Peter Yeadon’s nBots project envisions fully programmable environments that consist of tiny robotic substances. nBots are nano-scale robotic devices that have only a few moving parts and are invisible to the eye. Many times smaller than dust particles, these devices are so small and light that they are able to float freely in the air. The body of each nBot contains sensors, a nano-computer, and nano-scale machinery; the body rotates at the mid-point, enabling the cylindrical structure to bend. Fingers are designed to emerge at opposite ends of the body so that each nBot can rotate and grasp objects. Each nBot uses tiny connectors, or its fingers, to secure itself to neighboring elements.

nBots can rapidly self-assemble into mass, machines, or other useful devices. Assemblies grow at an exponential rate with a bottom-up approach that reconsiders how architecture is made. Assembling as tiny robotic pixels, six colors (CMYKW, and K@50%) enable the nBots to aggregate into a mass that can appear to be any color. A proportion of yellow and magenta nBots, for example, will accrue a solid mass that appears to be orange in color. As a nano-scale technology that has macro-scale effects, nBots create polymorphic mass, capable of changing color, density, viscosity, transparency, and shape on command.

Yeadon is currently using specialized software, such as HyperChem and NanoENGINEER-1, to develop the nBots project.

Categories: Research


studying: architecture design


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3 Comments on “nBots”

  1. jonbailey
    July 18, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    Ive contacted Professor Daniel J. Dyer at SIU about nanotechnologies, primarily nanobots. Hopefully I hear back from him before Saturday.

    “Research in the Dyer group is focused on the design, synthesis, and characterization of advanced organic materials. We utilize the tools of organic chemistry to create small molecules and macromolecules with interesting properties and functions.”

    There doesnt seem to be much research out there on nanobots in architecture–only biology. The only actual research I’ve came across has been about nBots.

  2. jonbailey
    July 18, 2007 at 11:33 pm #

    I found something interesting on what we were talking about after Tuesday nights meeting, about breathing in these nanobots. This is pulled from an article on Foglets, which is very similar to nBots.

    …”How do you breathe when the air is a solid mass of machines?” The answer is in several parts: First, the Foglets only occupy a small percentage of the actual volume of the air; they need lots of “elbow room” to move around easily. Thus there’s plenty of air left to breathe. The other part of the question has several possible answers; Fog could enter your lungs, actively simulating the activity of unoccupied air (and scrub your lungs of air pollution, smoke, and whatnot with every breath), or form a Fog-free region around you into which fresh air was continually fanned.”-J. Storrs Hall

  3. Jason
    July 19, 2007 at 6:40 pm #

    The idea of assemblies that grow with a bottom-up approach is something we encountered early on in the architecture and ecology pdf. I think it is possibly an idea that could make our project coherent as a whole.

    The article stated, “Living systems are structured hierarchically. The hierarchical order is usually constructed in a ‘bottom-up’ manner. This means that the smallest parts of a system produce their own emergent properties.”

    The smallest (local) input could trigger a (global) chain of events.

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