1991-09-26

Self-assembly

This is a post I made to the sci.nanotech newsgroup.
Friends-- 

I was thinking about the holding-hands devices that would comprise
something like T2. If such devices could be constructed, could they
be used to make, say, a 10-speed bicycle? 

I imagine a small (how small?) cube of material with some sort of
carrying handle and a button to initiate reformation. When you set
it down and push the button, it starts reorganizing itself into a
tubular structure with gears, etc. The hardest part, I imagine would
be the tires and brakes.

The question is, can these hand-holding devices provide enough
structural strength to support themselves + a rider + the stresses
of use? 

How long would it take for the thing to change form? Would it get
hot? How much would it weigh (at a minimum)?

Presumably, it would store the energy it needed to change form by
stealing some while you ride (when it needs it).

Is this sort of thing possible? 

--Gregor 

----------------------------------------+-------------------------------------
Gregor N. Purdy, NeXT Campus Consultant | "I am that which is not everything
OIT, University of Michigan             |  else." -- Gregor N. Purdy
Ann Arbor, MI 48109                     +-------------------------------------
gregor@oit.itd.umich.edu                |     One species, one government!
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[Definitely possible. I've done enough analysis of the Utility Fog to have a
good idea of what its capabilities in that regard might be. Yes, you could
make a bicycle out of Fog, it would be lighter and of roughly the same
strength as today's bicycle, it might and might not be possible to power it
from your muscles. And it would look different. 
--JoSH]

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