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I want to build a small machine

  1. Jan 18, 2009 #1

    • Between .5cm and 1cm large.
    • It must negotiate 3-D space in an air atmosphere.
    • It must be capable of autonomous existence.
    • It must be capable of high-g acceleration to rapidly start and stop.
    • It must be able to remain stationary on a surface at any spacial orientation.
    • It must self-replicate.
    • It must derive power from organics such as sugar and poop.
    • It must be able to detect and evade moving objects.
    • It must exhibit a preference to orbit the heads of humans.
    • It is desirable that it emit a general buzzing sound. The louder the better.

    There may be broader applications for this device, but the primary use is as a response to the following scenario:

    If you are invited to visit the Large Hadron Collider, and some scientist there starts bragging about the colossal scientific instruments they have, a devastating response would be to open up a matchbox and say, "Oh yeah? Got one of these?", and let the machine leave the matchbox and hopefully begin buzzing orbits around the bragging scientist's head.

    Budget is tight.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2009 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Jan 18, 2009 #3
    Haha at both. I love your response Root.
  5. Jan 18, 2009 #4
    Perfect! How much for this... fly?
  6. Jan 18, 2009 #5


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    It depends on what options you want. Hind legs are extra
  7. Jan 18, 2009 #6
    Is there a point to this thread?
  8. Jan 19, 2009 #7
    Beyond levity, you mean?
  9. Jan 19, 2009 #8
    Cyrus, let them have fun, lol, nobody's gonna die, I promise.
  10. Jan 20, 2009 #9
    <i>Is there a point to this thread?</i>

    Yes, there is. How far are we away from building such a thing?
  11. Jan 20, 2009 #10
    Try google.
  12. Jan 20, 2009 #11
    I would contend we are not significantly closer to engineering a fly than we were 25 years ago. Or 250 years ago, for that matter.
  13. Jan 20, 2009 #12
    I always get leery when mentioning this, but the things that can be done with a $4.00 microcontroller these days are frightening. I was cringing during the Iraq war that we would start to see autonomous M-50 machine guns on rooftops that could target the whup-whup of helicopters. Something like that would make close-air support quite difficult.

    Asymetrical can mean many things. One of these days, one of our UAV's will be responding to alternate commands, and those commands might be coming from a curious and resourceful 15-year-old kid.
  14. Jan 20, 2009 #13


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    Gold Member

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
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