Chemputer To Grow Bespoke Drones Through Chemistry
A BAE Systems "chemputer" could grow bespoke drones quickly to meet unique national security needs. Are you having trouble with that sentence? Apparently you aren't reading enough science fiction.
(BAE Systems chemputer builds drones video)
A radical new machine called a Chemputer™ could enable advanced chemical processes to grow aircraft and some of their complex electronic systems, conceivably from a molecular level upwards. This unique UK technology could use environmentally sustainable materials and support military operations where a multitude of small UAVs with a combination of technologies serving a specific purpose might be needed quickly. It could also be used to produce multi-functional parts for large manned aircraft...
Regius Professor Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow, and Founding Scientific Director at Cronin Group PLC – who is developing the Chemputer™ added; ‘This is a very exciting time in the development of chemistry. We have been developing routes to digitize synthetic and materials chemistry and at some point in the future hope to assemble complex objects in a machine from the bottom up, or with minimal human assistance. Creating small aircraft would be very challenging but I’m confident that creative thinking and convergent digital technologies will eventually lead to the digital programming of complex chemical and material systems.’
What you haven't been reading is Greg Bear's excellent War Dogs series, and in particular the latest volume Killing Titan. How to win a war on far away Titan? Make use of the materials you find there, that's how.
These organic compounds will provide plenty of the raw materials used by our weapon and vehicle seeds to double and even triple their present mass...
"These are your rudimentary seed packages," Bueller says. "Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes. Others will take more time and grow out to full size by themselves, mostly the vehicles supporting big weapons - zap guns, ionics, penetrators.
(Read more about vehicle seeds)