Some scientists think that swarms of nanorobots could one day act as mini factories. They could assemble new products directly from suitable molecules scavenged from nearby. Put very crudely, that means pour a swarm of nanobots into a bucket, throw in some raw materials and come back later to find a ready laptop.
If they ever achieve this, it could totally change the way in which we make things.
Watch this video about what could be the next industrial revolution.
Length 5 mins.
This video is from Google Video. If your school network does
not allow you to watch, ask your teacher to show it to you.
What effect will nanobot factories have on people who work in the manufacturing industries? Make a prediction based on research into what has happened previously when machines have replaced skilled humans. Is this likely to happen again, is it right that it should do so? Analyse why you think that way?
Find out more about the potential benefits and risks of molecular manufacturing at the Centre for Responsible Nanotechnolgy
But what if the nanobots got out of control?