So you build a self replicating probe, (TIP: YOU BUILT IT, with hands and screws and glue and plugs and stuff that fingers do) a probe that is intricate and smart.
Right. So put that probe in a shed with no materials available and command it to replicate!! What will happen? How can it replicate? HOW? Perhaps Im having a brain fart - but Id like to know?
Now, some of you will know MIT have already built a so called self replicating machine, except it doesn't really self replicate, but...it can replicate the form of something else.
But so can a jelly mold, to an extent
Heres a quote from the MIT 'machine' page
MIT Builds Self-Replicating Machines
Eventually, engineers want to scale the cubes down to the size of sand grains, enabling the precise replication of 3D objects. Practical applications of the technology, however, will not have to wait that long.
To repair a broken fan belt, for example, the owner could tape the split ends together and place the belt into a box containing the robotic cubes. The cubes would imitate the form and serve as a belt until the owner reached an auto parts store. Afterwards, the cubes could be deconstructed and used to duplicate another shape when the need arises. Follow the jump for a video that shows the cubes at work!
Now that was just a paragraph from that page, the whole (but short) page is worth a read!
A nanofactory, or some other application of nanotechnology would be my guess.
Edited by Slave2Fate, 10 August 2013 - 07:57 AM.