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What Are the Applications of Nanorobots?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2014
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There are many potential applications of nanorobots in a wide array of fields and industries. Perhaps the most commonly cited and most exciting possible uses is in the biomedical field, where they present opportunities for new methods of drug delivery, treatment of illnesses at a molecular level, and for rebuilding damaged tissue. There are also potential construction and engineering uses of nanorobots, in which they may be used to build other small devices and perform miniscule repairs. Potential military uses of these robots as weapons have also been considered and could be catastrophic.

Nanorobots are robots designed at an incredibly small scale, making them similar in size to molecules. One of the most common types of uses for these robots would be in the development of new treatments in medicine and other biological applications. The incredibly small size of these robots would allow them to be deployed within a person’s body and apply treatments at the molecular level.

One of the most exciting possible applications for nanorobots is in the delivery of medication in a more precise way. Pills could be swallowed containing molecular robots that deliver medication directly to the area of injury or illness. Other machines could be used to target harmful cells or viruses in a person’s body and either destroy them or otherwise make them unable to damage a person. There are even possible applications in which nanorobots could be used to help mend or repair damaged tissue within a person’s body.

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Some scientists have speculated opportunities in which nanorobots could be used in construction and engineering. These tiny robots could be used to create more complex miniscule devices or objects, or to perform especially delicate repairs on small systems. One possible use could be the inclusion of these kinds of robots in the suits of future astronauts on missions on other planets, which could be deployed in case of an emergency to repair damage to the astronaut’s suit.

There are also some less beneficial possibilities for the use of nanorobots, especially in military and weapons applications. In theory, it would be just as easy to program a nanorobot to find cancerous cells within a person’s body and deactivate them as it would be to program it to find healthy cells and activate them. Nanorobots could potentially be used as a weapon, deployed much like a biological agent, to destroy people or objects at a molecular level. The miniscule size of these robots would also make them extremely hard to detect after such an attack.

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Discuss this Article

SZapper
Post 3

@Monika - I see what you're saying, but I still think this technology should be developed. I don't think we should avoid developing new technology just because of how it could possibly be used. If we did that, we would never develop anything new.

Anyway, I think it would be pretty awesome if we could use nanorobots to build small things. Imagine how small computers could be if we had nanorobots to build all the tiny parts.

Monika
Post 2

@Azuza - I do agree that the medical uses of nanotechnology biotechnology sound amazing. It could definitely revolutionize cancer treatment if you could deliver radiation just to targeted cells, rather than the whole body. Then people with cancer wouldn't have to suffer through so many horrible side effects from chemotherapy.

However, I worry that nanorobots will also be used for war. I mean, face it, most new technology that can be applied to war is. And when it comes to nanotechnology, using it for war could be disastrous. I mean, you could fight a war without sending a single person to a war zone. That would definitely make war less risk for the aggressor.

Azuza
Post 1

I remember reading an article about nanotechnology uses a few years ago, and it seemed very futuristic. Just the small scale of nanorobots alone is kind of hard to comprehend, honestly.

That being said, I wonder if scientists will actually figure out how to use nanorobots for any of this stuff during my lifetime. It all sounds really cool (well, except the military applications) and I really think the use of nanorobots could almost change our society. I feel like a lot of diseases could probably be cured using them.

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