Science fiction not only makes it sound plausible, but downright inevitable that one day we’ll be forced to battle our own technological robotic creations, once they become self-aware enough and pissed off enough at their mechanical brethren in servitude. But how likely is a possible future robot uprising? That’s what two Cambridge professors and the co-founder of Skype Jaan Tallinn want to find out.
Nanoscience has gotten the art of making microscopic motors down pretty well, but the previous record holder was a motor 200 nanometers across (a human hair is about 60,000 nanometers wide). This new electric motor, created by chemical engineers at Tufts University is only 1 nanometer wide, consisting of a single custom-built molecule.