Getting Smaller All The Time

 Two recent examples of insect sized robots - flying ones at that. The limiting factor as of now to how small these types of robots can get is the power supply - in fact, power and batteries are the limiting factors in all kinds of different areas these days.

Now, in the scale of things, even these robots are big - still "macro". In fact, it's likely the first major breakthroughs will be with insect sized robots, and specifically, robots acting in a swarm.

The model to these swarm bots are ants, not people. Like ants, any one of these robots is not terribly bright, capable of only a few basic tasks. But link them up, and allow them to communicate certain types of information, and the swarm becomes much smarter than the sum of the parts - this is how ants and bees and other types of swarm lifeforms are so successful. In fact, they can be so successful that it might be helpful not to think of the individuals as individuals, but rather as nerves, or sensor points, to a larger organism - the swarm itself.

But this is still very big. Scientists are hard at work getting these robots into your body:
And no doubt, robots that can navigate your blood stream, and, for example, help clean out blocked arteries, will be very useful. But here, still too big.

Now we're getting somewhere - check out these four little robots operating at microscopic levels. But this arena - nanobots and the like - is still brand new, and there's not much real to show you yet. Just a matter of time though.

But we are beginning to build things at the microscopic level - simple machines for now, like so:
A working machine at the molecular level. At this juncture, most such nanomachines are toys for scientists, proofs of concept. But it won't be long before we actually have machines working - nonstop - at the microscopic level, and once you wrap your mind around the possibilities this would open, you'll quickly understand how revolutionary this will be: An entire new reality to conquer, really. And we'll conquer it, or die trying.

I find this to be a big deal on a metaphysical level, since our reality is divided neatly (in our minds) between what we can see with our eyes, and what we can't. For example, we're all made of atoms, but you'll never see an atom with your own eyes, and thus, that level of reality is conceptual, whereas the solid objects we see around us (composed of billions and billions of atoms) are the reality we can interact with. Same for things that are too big - like galactic clusters. It's beyond our minds.

Well, with these types of machines, it might be a true "technology as magic" moment - imagine something being created from thin air, or surfaces covered with atomic robots cleaning every inch of material, or weapons you breathe in, and then they kill you from inside your own blood.

It's all coming! Be prepared.

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