Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is defined as the creation and manipulation of matter at a subatomic scale. And if you still think this is science fiction let me refer you to two articles that prove otherwise...

This first article is from a paper published back in August of 2012 which I found at IOPScience. In it the authors discuss using "semiconductor nanomaterials, advanced fabrication methods and unusual device designs" (hmm, I wonder what unusual device designs are?) to create ridiculously thin "elastomeric sheets" which could be used like gloves. "This type of technology could be used in applications ranging from human–machine interfaces to 'instrumented' surgical gloves." 

The second article is from the November 2012 issue of Scientific American (a magazine which I highly recommend, btw) and discusses using nanotechnology to create artificial muscle. Apparently Ray Baughman (the director of the University of Texas at Dallas' Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute) and his team have been able to use nanotechnology to spin "lengths of carbon nanotubes into buff yarns whose twisting and untwisting mimicked natural muscles found in an elephant's trunk or a squid's tentacles." More recently the team has reported advances that "makes their carbon nanotube yarns several times faster and more powerful. These qualities could help deliver on the technology's promise of developing compact, lightweight actuators for robots" and could enable "the artificial muscles to lift more than 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power ..."


MULHALL: Thank you. Have you prepared the negaton hydracoils for the drawing Sargon supplied?

SCOTT: For all the good it'll do you. It's a fancy name, but how will something that looks like a drop of jelly make this thing work? You'll need microgears and a pulley that does what a muscle does.

MULHALL: That would be highly inefficient.

SCOTT: I tell you, lady, this thing won't work.

SPOCK: It will have twice the strength and agility of your body, engineer, and will last a thousand years. That is, assuming you'll stop wasting your time and allow us to complete it.



33 comments:

  1. Tweeted and shared!

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  2. I'm curious about the unusual device designs, too.

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  3. Funny exchange.
    If it can weave muscles for machines, how much farther are we from muscles for humans?

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    Replies
    1. Not long. We've already made huge improvements in prosthetic devices so I can only imagine what another 10 years will bring.

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  4. nanotechnology saved us from the Borg!

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    Replies
    1. Well, the Borg had some advantages, but the hive mind was not one of them, imo!

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  5. Love Spock's riposte! LOL!!! Take care
    x

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  6. I wouldn't mind having some 'nano' muscle, as long as it made me look more buff :)

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  7. This is fascinating Marcy...

    It's amazing what breakthroughs are created every day. If this is the future... More power to the human race....

    The banter is great in your excerpt ... LOL.

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    Replies
    1. Star Trek was a great show, except for the cheesy episodes, but even those were fun :)

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  8. You can't sneeze at nanotech without hitting a carbon nanotube.

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  9. We are entering a new world of scientific advancement.

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  10. Thanks for the memories, loved Star Trek.

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  11. I have to worry about the nano enemies that were on Stargate. I can't remember what they were called.

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    Replies
    1. I don't remember them at all - must've missed that season.

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  12. hee hee. Yep I read about it all the time, but I favor Pop Sci. :)

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    Replies
    1. darn you for telling me about this site; I just wasted a half hour there!

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  13. It reminds me of the bionic woman/man.
    Very cool stuff- so much to take in.

    perfect convo! :)

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I used to watch that show!

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  14. I have no idea what I just read but it sounded fancy.

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    1. Just means one day people will have parts that aren't 100% human in origin.

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  15. Cool! Although I had to do a double-take when I read "squid tentacles." Oops.

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  16. Nanotechnology is a fascinating field. Great post!

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