The Future with Molecular Assemblers
I think most of us are familiar with the fictional technology in Star Trek called replicators. Replicators are supposedly able to convert energy into matter; and not just any matter, but any object that someone would need or want, such as food, tools, weapons, or even more replicators. In reality, these replicators do not exist and probably never will.
On the other hand, scientists are getting closer to creating something that may be able to create anything. Using nanotechnology, researchers are creating nanobots, extremely small robots, that are able to manipulate molecules. Eventually, these nanobots should even be able to manipulate individual atoms. These nanobots may even be able to transform an element into another element by re-engineering the internal parts of atoms using parts from other atoms.
In due course, scientists will be able to create molecular assemblers or nano-forges that will harness the power of billions or trillions of nanobots. These nanobots will have the ability to act in unison to manufacture almost any object from almost any raw material. These nano-forges will literally have the ability of turning trash into something useful and even turning dangerous and toxic wastes into something not harmful.
The first step for scientists is to better understand and create useful nanotechnologies. This is exactly what is happening now. The second step is to construct nanotechnologies as a platform to build nanobots. Then the abilities of these nanobots would expand to be able to create almost any atom or molecule. Eventually, these nanobots will be able to build other nanobots. At this point, the nanobots will be able to create probably anything and everything. The current factories of the world would instantly become obsolete.
Of course all of this is just a hypothetical conjecture of possible future technologies. The difference is that these technologies now seem feasible in the not so distant future.
by Phil for Humanity