Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, March 08, 2007

See Tiny Workers Building with Tiny Tools

As a follow-on article to the one just posted yesterday, which described the evolution of the tools we make and use, I need to write about nano-manufacturing, that is, building things atom by atom. You've probably heard about nanotech before today. It won't be too long before you'll be seeing it in action, a matter of a couple of decades.

Today's manufacturing processes, even the most technically advanced and precise, have been described as working with boxing gloves on. Building things one atom at a time is like taking the gloves off. Sounds fantastic, but how would it work? It's very difficult to imagine the actual mechanics of this process. I picture tiny little workers on a tiny assembly line, putting atoms together one by one. Somehow I don't think that's a very accurate picture.

To the rescue comes one very interesting animation I found that helps us see just how such a process would look. Click below to see nano-manufacturing in action. You'll be amazed.