Fireflies- a nanorobot system

So I've alluded to and given some details on this before now but with bodyhacking con coming up I figured it was time to give a brief glimpse at what I've been working on. I'm already part way through the process of getting them patented and they are officially patent pending. I'm working with a friend of mine and 3 professors at my university in a variety of fields for this and I imagine that number will be increasing shortly. We're building the prototypes and sorting out the chemistry and will have more to show by body hacking con. Thus far it's all been working well and we'll have a fully functional batch in the coming weeks. Thus far all the individual pieces are working well. I'll be presenting at body hacking con (feb 21 at 1:30) and will be covering this and 2 other projects during the conference but will have more stuff on the convention floor.

Full write up of the system and some highlights of things you can do with it. This will probably be updated with more images of things as we get them finished.  


  • Burning cancer from the inside out damn man. Nice work on it.
  • I could write a cool SiFi book about that, like Larry Niven's The Goliath Stone.
  • Ever see the old agent cody banks movies? kinds crap but the nanites in there were awesome and at least some of the insperation. I've always wanted to make nanites. There's so much cool stuff you can make with them.
  • I read a series a while back about nanobots, if you guys would be interested. BZRK, I think was it's name. Nothing spectacular, but good interesting enough.
  • I'll check it out! thanks :)
  • that is awesome
  • This is going to be great. :)
  • So cool!
  • Have you thoght to use magnetic nanoparticles in nervous system? I believe it would be great to influence brain activity via magnetic field when needed. As it was shown in Polina Anikeeva recent work.
  • We've definitely thought of using it in the brain and will be going over some of those idea at Bodyhacking con. 
  • As I can see their size is about 200 nm, if I am right. But as far as I know, particles bigger than 10-15 nm are not crossing brain-blood barrier. It may become a challenge.
  • 200nm is the size including the chains and stuff. the core is way smaller and that's the bit that's hard to get through things. Regardless the nice part about their magnetism, is you can pull them through the barrier. Sure you break it for a second, but that's the same sort of idea as how that new ultrasound alzhimers treatment worked. Break it for a sec then it stitches itself back up after the procedure. And even then, the hole it would make is miniscule so repairs are easy 
  • Never heard about pulling through due to magnetism. I would be grateful if any links to read are available.
  • Its one of the things that makes our system so versatile and interesting. I'll see if I can find some links. 
  • Well, took fucking ages but the first prototype batch is done LINK

    will be testing them out tonight to see if they work properly, but so far all is looking good. Had to jump through so many bureaucratic hoops to get to this point it's been hell. But progress finally!
  • so the chemistry works but the particles are too stable. Will adjust and try again so that they actually break apart on demand. Oh well, least we know something is working and we made progress. Baby steps
  • Perhaps not doable atm.. 
    But cant you construct a magnetic/somesuch 4d transformation to pass the bbb?
    Just a silly idea, but the thougths i've had on nanobots mostly have revolved around externally powered 4d.
  • Love yer work tho, the potential of nanorobotics with distributed intelligence is.. HUGE.
  • So, how reusable are they? Can you make 'em grab stuff that's just floating through the bloodstream?
  • So the cores are always removed post use, using a magnet to pul them back out the IV line. To that end, yes you could make them grab something that's floating around and then pull it and them back out. Blood scrubbing would be an ideal use of that ability
  • How long can they be in the body?
  • By the time we get to the human use phase of the project they'll be able to be left in pretty much indefintly. I want to refine the chemistry so that if any are left behind they just degrade harmlessly. 
  • Interesting.... Will you be selling these? And have you received notice of your Nobel prize yet?
  • the dream is to have them in every hospital and have them change how we use medicine. And no I think it's still in the mail ;) :P
  • edited May 2016
    Work faster! I want them yesterday! O_O
    (especially pseudointelligent swarms) Means: Awesome work.
  • So you would be interested in selling even if to generate some funds to help with your research? I have a friend predisposed for cancer I want to be able to help her when the time comes.... Plus I think you will need something quantum if this is going to have any chance of having intelligence....
  • JohnDoe: There are algorithm's for swarm intelligence, basicly emergent programming. (Think ants/bee's & some fungi)
    As individuals, they have only very simple directives, but as a swarm they can act intelligent. 
    (That being said, a dna-string or 2 could contain alot of data...)
  • edited May 2016
    Yes but what I was referencing was a processor the smallest transistors we have made are +/-20nm that exactly going to fit in that.... Plus you need a system to transmit and send data to the other nanos.... I think optical would be better.... But then that is hypothetical computer system that to my knowledge has never been proven.... Still storing data in DNA is a complicated, but possibly viable way of storing data in the body if need be.... But then think about how much equipment and chemicals are needed to break DNA apart and analysis.... I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

    John Doe
  • they won't be using transitors. Right now Im looking at DNA computing options. However they end up thinking it will be chemical based not electrical. Although I'm working on a way to bridge the two, so you can send electrical signals that cause chemical changes wirelessly 
  • Is that possible with chems that will not alter brain function? Also for chemical computers I thought that all current research suggests that they are only good for mass data processing, like video rendering. (Been a long time since I read up on alternative computer system architectures.)
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