DefinitionA nanomachine, alsocalled a nanite, is amechanical orelectromechanicaldevice whosedimensions aremeasured innanometers(millionths of amillimeter, or units of10-9 meter).This is a representation of ananomachine. The colored ballsrepresent individual atoms thatcomprise the machine.
VisionaryDuring the 1980’s and 1990’s, K.Eric Drexler popularized thepotential for nanomachines..The ultimate goal ofnanomachine technology is tobuild an “assembler”nanomachine that is designedto manipulate matter at theatomic level.The “assembler” would be ableto rearrange atoms from rawmaterials in order to produceuseful items.
EngineeringThe most important challenge to overcome is one of molecularengineering. Rearranging atoms into new shapes is essentiallybuilding new molecules.Through experimentation, more control could be gained on howmolecules are formed.In time, chemists will be able to position individual atoms bytechniques developed in chemical synthesis.In computer simulations,molecularly stable gears and cogshave been formed throughchemical synthesis.Nanogear