Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Swarms Of Tiny Robots To Monitor Water Pollution 182

savi writes "The University of Southern California School of Engineering has received a research grant to create swarms of microscopic robots to monitor potentially dangerous microorganisms in the ocean. Basically, nanoscale robots with electrical and mechanical components that can propel themselves, send signals, and do basic computations. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Swarms Of Tiny Robots To Monitor Water Pollution

Comments Filter:
  • by gilly_gize ( 470403 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:45PM (#2837699)
    So can you end up drinking the microscopic robots? Couldn't this raise as much protest as floride in the water? (We must protect our precious bodily fluids!)

    Oh well, I suppose I don't have enough iron in my diet anyhow...
  • Great. (Score:5, Funny)

    by wo1verin3 ( 473094 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:46PM (#2837707) Homepage
    Just great.

    I give it two weeks before they get in to all the systems, shut down our life support and start calling us ugly bags of mostly water.

    BAH. Where is Wil Wheaton now to save us?
  • by koreth ( 409849 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:46PM (#2837714)
    And I thought lead in the water supply was bad enough. Now I have to have my water tested for excessive robot levels.
  • by spatrick_123 ( 459796 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:51PM (#2837745)
    Is this anything like those Sea Monkeys I had as a kid? :-)
  • Uh-oh. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:52PM (#2837759) Homepage
    From the article:

    "I don't think these robots will be confined to the ocean. We will eventually make robots to hunt down pathogens..."

    Quoth Agent Smith: "Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are... the cure."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:04PM (#2837834)
    Maybe this is what've been needing to gain my regularity back. Maybe while they're in there, they can rebuild my arthiritic fingers from programming for so many years. Or better yet, analyze my blood alcohol content, and give me a warning buzz, and an override button. I cant wait, I am going to go eat some drill bits and a wrench, maybe an entire Erector set.
  • by programic ( 139404 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:06PM (#2837851)
    The gut of a whale or other plankton-eating creature.
  • by garoush ( 111257 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:13PM (#2837892) Homepage

    It is no secret that those "tiny robots" which monitor the quality of our drining water end up in our body system. However, the big puzzle about why we are seeing so many good citizens coming to a temporarily halt and turning into "blue" color for a short period of time, has been explained.

    It turned out that the government has used an Operating System called TinyXP (tm) produced by a company called Microsoft to be the source of the problem. Aperently those robats are "crashing" and emiting "blue" color until they recover.

    While Microsoft did not acknowledge the problem, nor did they deniy it. They simply said that they didn't have any comments.
  • Re:But! (Score:3, Funny)

    by markfive ( 167272 ) <> on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:58PM (#2838134)
    Skinner: Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.
    Lisa: But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're
    overrun by lizards?
    Skinner: No problem. We simply release wave after wave of Chinese
    needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.
    Lisa: But aren't the snakes even worse?
    Skinner: Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous
    type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
    Lisa: But then we're stuck with gorillas!
    Skinner: No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around,
    the gorillas simply freeze to death.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong