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The espionage kids love this kind of science. Bugs that look like bugs and act like bugs but can record and transmit unlike bugs.


>but can record and transmit unlike bugs. Sure they can, just different kind of bug


That's not what this project does?


I understand that. But consider that it is a foundational technology that can (and will) be capitalized on for such applications.


you realize the remote controlled dragonfly robot used by the CIA **in 1970** is declassified, right? This current foundational technology you speak of is *more than half a century* behind the curve.


So many possibilities to be explored. Autonomous robots on microscopic scales, so many espionage applications, so many exciting ideas. Drop some into a computer, park yourself at a particular circuit juncture and piggyback in. Crawl into a human orifice and deploy untraceable toxins. Find the tiniest crack in the tightest saferoom and listen in. Crawl into a key communications circuit or in a jet or missile or anything else, pick a particular wire, release corrosives. So many possibilities! Like others have observed, current limitations are being worked on by bright minds. We live in a time of Moore's Law, and technology is on a rocket ride to strange new worlds :)


But this is just fear mongering? Like, whats the point? All technology will be used in some method that another person would find displeasing. Even non technical skills, such as language, make their appearance in unpleasant events. Not to mention that this is just a CMOS brain. Theres no storage, RF transmit, or even PDM on the device.


It's not fearmongering, it's an observation. And the point is, new technology opens doors. I understand the current limitations. If this type of application is not something you're interested in, it's fine if you don't want to discuss or speculate.


.... This type of application is my focus within my education. CMOS (& other) process' with a background in low power IoT devices. I can speculate because I have atleast an entry level understanding of the technology. So besides that r/facepalm moment, really just trying to drive home the point that your 'speculation' is fear mongering and kind of takes away from the accomplishment of this. They've designed (what I assume is) a low power machine learning unit that can track things such as bacteria devolpment, cancer growth, or something similar.


Well thanks, professor, for taking a lighthearted observation by a random stranger and turning it into a way bigger deal than it actually is. Have a lovely rest of your Saturday.


Well, to start I'm not a professor. Not to give academia a pedastal, but you earn that title. Personally, I wouldn't call that light hearted. Some cool tech was introduced with the intention that it would save people and you come in with some statement about spying. (as if you have anything to hide at this point anyways?) Would seem pretty tasteless IMO. But whatever. Speculate all you want, I'm just putting some change on top of your 2 cents.


Take the chill pill and stop responding. You’re not winning arguments at all. Just making yourself look bad. Not worth your time, professor


>pedastal Pedestal, Professor.


Haha thanks for pedestal, but I think I spelt professor correctly?


Wow buddy, calm down. I thought it was a fun observation and I'm sure many others would too. If you didn't, you don't need to take it personally.


Yeah.. adding just a transmitter powerful enough to reach the next room over would exponentially increase the mass of these little guys. Then you have to make a bigger robot to carry that mass, and generate more power to move that bigger robot **and** run the transmitter.. and so on.


Just more thresholds that haven't been crossed yet... That we know of. I'm sure there's a lot of bright minds working on these obstacles.


Dude, they created autonomously walking robots smaller than an ant's head. I'm sure they'll figure it out. Even the 'way too big' transmitters you're thinking about would have seemed impossibly tiny 10 years ago.


Its all fun and games until a microscopic polonium bot wanders into your drink.


I swear to god Cornell, you grey goo this MOFO and someone's getting their butt kicked.


What does this mean?


I was going to say well known science trope, but I guess not well known From wikipedia Gray goo (also spelled as grey goo) is a hypothetical global catastrophic scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating machines consume all biomass on Earth while building more of themselves,[1][2] a scenario that has been called ecophagy (the literal consumption of the ecosystem).[3] The original idea assumed machines were designed to have this capability, while popularizations have assumed that machines might somehow gain this capability by accident


Grey goo already exists. It’s called bacteria.


This is absolutely true. The Whitesides vs Drexler debates cover aspects of this topic and clearly I am a proponent of Whitesides position that all our common sense intuitions completely fail at the nano scale and grey goo in the classic sense is not possible. A self replicating nano bot is a virus and a self replicating micro bot is a bacteria and when you get down to considering how to solve the problem of energy and manufacture it becomes extremely difficult to imagine beating the efficiency of the end result of evolution. It inevitably requires a sort of ignorant hand waving as people imagine just scaling down the Boston dynamics robots to the nanoscale with no conception about how everything changes at those scales.


> The “brain” in the new robots is a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) clock circuit that contains a thousand transistors, plus an array of diodes, resistors and capacitors. The integrated CMOS circuit generates a signal that produces a series of phase-shifted square wave frequencies that in turn set the gait of the robot. The robot legs are platinum-based actuators. Both the circuit and the legs are powered by photovoltaics. > The finished circuits arrived on 8-inch silicon-on-insulator wafers. At 15 microns tall, each robot brain – essentially also the robot’s body – was a “mountain” compared to the electronics that normally fit on a flat wafer, Reynolds said. He worked with the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF) to develop an intricate process using 13 layers of photolithography to etch the brains loose into an aqueous solution and pattern the actuators to make the legs. The actuators, photovoltaics, and brain are all made in a batch and then some in each batch can walk around.


I wonder how much each one costs


Practically nothing I would guess. When you are working at these scales nearly all the cost is upfront (research / lab hardware etc).


Ahh yes the the ol’ Complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor, semiconductor.


I’m sure this’ll work out


holy smokes, imagine 3d printing a house with ant robots without supervision. Moon houses!!!!!!!!!!!


Micrometer is a tool. The right word is micron


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micrometre > The term micron and the symbol μ were officially accepted for use in isolation to denote the micrometre in 1879, but officially revoked by the [International System of Units](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_System_of_Units) (SI) in 1967.[[7]](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micrometre#cite_note-BIPM-7) This became necessary because the older usage was incompatible with the official adoption of the unit prefix micro-, denoted μ, during the creation of the SI in 1960. In the SI, the systematic name micrometre became the official name of the unit, and μm became the official unit symbol


The International Bureau of Weights and Measures begs to differ


Very American


Yeah, nah. I've seen what happens when the Banach-Tarski Dupla-Shrinker is used improperly.