Ask a Scientist: What Are the Limitations of Nanobots?

2 minutes

I'm Quinn Spadola, and I do education and outreach at the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office.

A lot of people seem to be concerned about nanobots replicating and taking over the world. If that was going to happen, it probably already would have with viruses, which are basically nature's nanobots. Even though it's cold and flu season, viruses have not taken over the world. They are limited by their resources and the different types compete for those resources. Even if there were nanobots out there that could replicate, they would be competing for resources. And as they replicated, they would change with each replication 'cause it wouldn't be perfect. Eventually, you'd have all these nanobots competing for these resources. And as a result, they would control themselves from taking over the world. If viruses haven't done it yet, I'm confident nanobots won't be able to.


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Nano expert Dr. Quinn Spadola from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office discusses the limitations of nanobots. Part of the “Ask a Scientist” series.

Media Details

Runtime: 2 minutes

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