Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nanotechnology and Micro-robotics

Nanotechnology is any area of science I've always been fascinated with. Some of you may have heard of it, some of you may not have, but I am sure every one will know what it is and be affected by it in the near future.
It'll be impossible for me to even give you a fair idea of this promising and emerging science in one post, but I will at least give you some information on the subject.
If we look at what Wiki says on the subject: "Nanotechnology is a field of applied science and technology covering a broad range of topics. The main unifying theme is the control of matter on a scale smaller than 100 nanometers, as well as the fabrication of devices on this same length scale."
Another definition: "The science and technology of building devices, such as electronic circuits, from single atoms and molecules."
To be complete, the Arabic definition would be: (click on the link to read the whole Arabic article)
تقنية النانو هي مجال في البحث يعنى بصنع الأشياء في مستوى الذرة والجزيئات. فالنانو هو جزء من المليار من المتر

Just to put perspective on what a nano is, the diameter of a single strand of your hair is about 80000 nano's, so you can imagine how many nano's you have to comb each day (not unless you lost your nano's through male pattern baldness!..lol!)

The amazing thing about this technology is the vast applications/benefits it can bring to every body's daily life. It depends from where you look at it, if you are a doctor, it could mean micro robots that can be infused into the blood stream, that could seek and destroy diseases like cancer, or infections. It could also be used to fix dying cells or even replace some of their functions, like in the eye for those who have lost their sight, they could replace the light sensitive cells and become sensors themselves which can send visual signals to the brain. The medical applications are very exciting indeed.
For computer engineers, well, they will have a field day! Its heaven for them, super micro computers, and networks, they will have a lot to play with!
One such application is called smart dust , called so because dust size devices (similar to the above picture with the pen) are wirelessly networked together to produce very powerful versatile networks.
This Smart dust is then scattered around say a certain area which can then be used to detect certain parameters like temperature, earth quake signs, motion etc. For example, they can be scattered around a hospital or shopping mall where they can be used to detect temperature changes which then regulates the air conditioning to keep the temperature stable and at the required level.

The down side is others may use nanotechnology for more sinister purposes like surveillance, causing a significant threat to privacy, and the biggest threat is probably from the military who are researching away to find destructive applications for this science. Basically its a double edged sword.
Another area which is not to far off, is micro-robotics, I just read an article about miniature robots which are being developed to be used as diagnostic and now therapeutic tools. one such robot is below:

This robot can be swallowed and it can be controlled wirelessly from the outside to see your insides with its miniature camera, and it has small tools which can be used to take samples and even treat some kinds of lesions! So in the future you could walk in to a pharmacy/Doctor's and say:" Oh doc, I think I have appendicitis!", your doc could say: "Take this smart pill, with no water, before food, you will be just fine!" ...lol. The result would be a lot of jobless surgeons!

One ideal application for me would be to use smart dust to monitor traffic and bad drivers to prevent them from breaking the traffic laws! But that's in ideal world at an ideal time!
Sorry to bore you all with this techno drab, but I love it! Keep safe and God bless!
-Hey Anglo Libyan, if you're reading this, I bet you're asking yourself like I am at this very moment: "I wonder how many nano's are there in an average dish of kabsah?!" ...lol.


AngloLibyan said...

how did you know i was thinking that??!!
never mind a dish of Kabsah, how many does a spoonful have :o)
fantastic post ya Beacon, i really enjoyed it even though im getting a bit old and technology is moving way ahead of me, thank you.

butterfly said...

تقنية رائعة و مذهلة


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