Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines

© 2004 Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Ralph C. Merkle. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Preferred Literature Citation for Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines:

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 2004; http://www.MolecularAssembler.com/KSRM.htm

 

 

Capsule Summary of Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines:

Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines (Landes Bioscience, 2004). This book offers a general review of the voluminous theoretical and experimental literature pertaining to physical self-replicating systems and self-replication. The principal focus here is on self-replicating machine systems. Most importantly, we are concerned with kinematic self-replicating machines: systems in which actual physical objects, not mere patterns of information, undertake their own replication. Following a brief burst of activity in the 1950s and 1980s, the field of kinematic replicating systems design received new interest in the 1990s with the emerging recognition of the feasibility of molecular nanotechnology. The field has experienced a renaissance of research activity since 1999 as researchers have come to recognize that replicating systems are simple enough to permit experimental laboratory demonstrations of working devices.

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Reviews of Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines (KSRM):

  1. Dr. A. Bowyer, Engineering Becomes Biology, Amazon.com, 11 November 2006. Full Text (HTML)
  2. Moshe Sipper, Book Review,Artificial Life 12(Winter 2006):187-188. Full Text (PDF)
  3. Via Nanotechnology to the Stars,Centauri Dreams, 14 October 2005. Full Text (HTML)
  4. Tihamer Toth-Fejel, Best Book Ever Written on Self-Replicating Machines, Amazon.com, 6 December 2004. Full Text (HTML)
  5. “Newsline: New Robotics Books,” Robotics Today 17(Fourth Quarter, 2004):11. Full Text (HTML)
  6. J. Storrs Hall, “An encyclopedia of self-replicating machines,” Foresight Update, No. 54, 5 August 2004, p. 8. Full Text (HTML)
  7. Prepublication comments from 59 Technical Reviewers of KSRM, 2003. Full Text (HTML)

 

 

Citations of Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines (KSRM):

  1. Saul Griffith, Dan Goldwater, Joseph M. Jacobson, Robotics: Self-replication from random parts, Nature 437(29 September 2005):636. Full Text (PDF)
  2. Victor Zykov, Efstathios Mytilinaios, Bryant Adams, Hod Lipson, “Robotics: Self-reproducing machines, Nature 435(12 May 2005):163-164. Abstract (HTML)

 

 


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Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines

© 2004 Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Ralph C. Merkle. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Dedication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

Table of Contents ..... Local Copy (HTML)

List of Figures ..... Local Copy (HTML)

List of Tables ..... Local Copy (HTML)

Preface and Acknowledgements ..... Local Copy (HTML)

Opening Quotations ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

 

Chapter 1.  The Concept of Self-Replicating Machines ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

 

Chapter 2.  Classical Theory of Machine Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

2.1  Von Neumann’s Contributions ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.1.1  A Logical Organization of Self-Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.1.2  The Kinematic Model of Machine Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.1.3  The Cellular Automaton (CA) Model of Machine Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.1.4  Limitations of von Neumann’s Cellular Automaton Model ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.1.5  Design for Nonevolvability ..... Local Copy (HTML)

2.2  Subsequent Work on Computational Models of Self-Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.2.1  Cellular Automata Models of Self-Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.2.2  Computational Modeling with Continuous Space and Virtual Physics ..... Local Copy (HTML)

2.3  Alternative Models of Machine Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.3.1  Simplified von Neumann Automaton Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.3.2  Von Neumann Automaton Replication with Diversification ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.3.3  Thatcher’s Variant: Inferring Structure ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.3.4  Replication by Component Analysis ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.3.5  Machine Replication Without Description ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.3.6  Nonautonomous Machine Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     2.3.7  Embodied Evolution: Algorithmic Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

 

Chapter 3.  Macroscale Kinematic Machine Replicators ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.1  Moore Artificial Living Plants (1956) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.2  Browning Unnatural Living State (1956, 1978) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.3  Penrose Block Replicators (1957-1962) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.4  Jacobson Locomotive Toy Train Replicator (1958) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.5  Morowitz Floating Electromechanical Replicator (1959) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.6  Dyson Terraforming Replicators (1970, 1979) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.7  Self-Replicating Automated Industrial Factory (1973-present) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.8  Macroscale Kinematic Cellular Automata (1975-present) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.9  Space Manufacturing Systems with Bootstrapping (1977-present) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.10  Taylor Santa Claus Machine (1978) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.11  Freitas Interstellar Probe Replicator (1979-1980) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.12  Bradley Self-Replicating Teleoperated Machine Shop (1980) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.13  NASA Summer Study on Self-Replicating Systems (1980-1982) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.13.1  NASA Robot Replication Feasibility Demonstration ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.13.2  Self-Replicating Lunar Factories ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          3.13.2.1  Von Tiesenhausen Unit Replication System ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          3.13.2.2  Freitas Factory Replication System ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.14  Freitas Atomic Separator Replicator (1981) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.15  Lackner-Wendt Auxon Replicators (1995) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.16  The Collins Patents on Reproductive Mechanics (1997-1998) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.17  Lohn Electromechanical Replicators (1998) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.18  Moses Self-Replicating Construction Machine (1999-2001) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.19  Self-Replicating Robots for Space Solar Power (2000) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.20  Three-Dimensional Solid Printing (2000-present) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.21  Bererton Self-Repairing Robots (2000-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.22  Brooks Living Machines Program (2001-present) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.23  Chirikjian Group Self-Replicating LEGO® Robots (2001-2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.23.1  Prototype 1 (2001) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.23.2  Remote-Controlled Self-Replicating Robots (2002) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.23.3  Semi-Autonomous Self-Replicating Robot (2002) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.23.4  Suthakorn-Cushing-Chirikjian Autonomous Replicator (2002-2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.24  Chirikjian Self-Replicating Lunar Factory Concept (2002) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.25  NIAC Phase I Studies on Self-Replicating Systems (2002-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.25.1  Lipson Self-Extending Machines (2002) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.25.2  Chirikjian Self-Replicating Lunar Factories (2003-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.25.3  Todd Robotic Lunar Ecopoiesis (2003-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     3.25.4  Toth-Fejel Kinematic Cellular Automata (2003-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.26  Robosphere Self-Sustaining Robotic Ecologies (2002-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.27  Lozneanu-Sanduloviciu Plasma Cell Replicators (2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.28  Griffith Mechanical Self-Replicating Strings (2003-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

3.29  Self-Replicating Robotic Lunar Factory (SRRLF) (2003-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

 

Chapter 4.  Microscale and Molecular Kinematic Machine Replicators ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.1  Molecular Self-Assembly and Autocatalysis for Self-Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.1.1  Self-Assembling Peptides, Porphyrins, Nucleotides and DNA ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.1.2  Self-Assembling Crystalline Solids ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.1.3  Self-Assembling Dendrimers ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.1.4  Self-Assembling Rotaxanes and Catenanes ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.1.5  Self-Assembly of Mechanical Parts and Conformational Switches ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.1.6  Autocatalysis and Autocatalytic Networks ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.2  Ribosomes: Molecular Positional Assembly for Self-Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.3  Natural Biological Replicators ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.1  Prions ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.2  Viroids ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.3  Viruses ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.4  Prokaryotic Cells ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.5  Plasmids ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.6  Eukaryotic Cells ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.7  Mitochondria ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.3.8  Large Metazoans ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.4  Artificial Biological Replicators (1965-present) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.5   Biomolecular-Directed Positional Parts Assembly (1994-present) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.5.1  Positional Assembly Using DNA ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.5.2  Positional Assembly Using Proteins ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.5.3  Positional Assembly Using Microbes and Viruses ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.5.4  Positional Assembly Using Other Biological Means ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.6  Feynman Hierarchical Machine Shop (1959) and Microassembly ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.7  Shoulders Electronic Micromachining Replicator (1960-1965) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.8  Laing Molecular Tapeworms (1974-1978) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.9  Drexler Molecular Assemblers (1981-1992) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.9.1  Drexler Generic Assembler (1986) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.9.2  Drexler Extruding Tube Assembler (1988) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.9.3  Drexler Nanofactory Replication System (1991-1992) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.9.4  Feynman Grand Prize (Foresight Institute) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.10  Merkle Molecular Assemblers (1991-2000) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.10.1  Merkle Generic Assembler (1992-1994) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.10.2  Merkle Cased Hydrocarbon Assembler (1998-2000) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.11  Extruding Brick Assemblers (1992-2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.11.1  Drexler Minimal Assembler (1992) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.11.2  Merkle Replicating Brick Assembler (1995-1997) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     4.11.3  Merkle-Freitas Hydrocarbon Molecular Assembler (2000-2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          4.11.3.1  Summary Description ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          4.11.3.2  Product Object Extrusion ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          4.11.3.3  The Broadcast Architecture for Control ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          4.11.3.4  Hydrocarbon Assembler Subsystems ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.12  Bishop Overtool Universal Assembler (1995-1996) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.13  Goddard Proposed Assembler Simulation Study (1996) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.14  Zyvex Nanomanipulator Array Assembler System (1997-1999) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.15  Bishop Rotary Assembler (1998) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.16  Hall Factory Replication System (1999) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.17  Zyvex Exponential Assembly (2000) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.18  Freitas Biphase Assembler (2000) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.19  Phoenix Primitive Nanofactory (2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

4.20  Zyvex Microscale Assemblers (2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

 

Chapter 5.  Issues in Kinematic Machine Replication Engineering ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.1  General Taxonomy of Replicators ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.1  Dawkins Classification of Replicators (1976) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.2  Miller Critical Subsystems of Living Systems (1978) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.3  Hasslacher-Tilden MAP Survival Space (1994-1995) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.4  Szathmary Classification of Replicators (1995-2000) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.5  Sipper POE Model of Bio-Inspired Hardware Systems (1997) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.6  Taylor Categorization of Reproducers (1999) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.7  Bohringer et al Taxonomy of Microassembly (1999) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.8  Suthakorn-Chirikjian Categorization of Self-Replicating Robots (2002-2003) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.1.9  Freitas-Merkle Map of the Kinematic Replicator Design Space (2003-2004) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.A  Replication Control ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.B  Replication Information ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.C  Replication Substrate ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.D  Replicator Structure ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.E  Passive Parts ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.F  Active Subunits ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.G  Replicator Energetics ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.H  Replicator Kinematics ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.I  Replication Process ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.J  Replicator Performance ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.K  Product Structure ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          5.1.9.L  Evolvability ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.2  Replication Time vs. Replicator Mass ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.3  Minimum and Maximum Size of Kinematic Replicators ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.4  Efficient Replicator Scaling Conjecture ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.5  Fallacy of the Substrate ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.6  Closure Theory and Closure Engineering ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.7  Massively Parallel Molecular Manufacturing ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.8  Software Simulators for Robots and Automated Manufacturing ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.9  Brief Mathematical Primer on Self-Replicating Systems ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.9.1  Fibonacci’s Rabbits ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.9.2  Strategies for Exponential Kinematic Self-Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.9.3  Limits to Exponential Kinematic Self-Replication ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.9.4  Performance of Convergent Assembly Nanofactory Systems ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.9.5  Power Law Scaling in Convergent Assembly Nanofactory Systems ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     5.9.6  Design Tradeoffs in Nanofactory Assembly Process Specialization ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.10  Replicators and Artificial Intelligence (AI) ..... Local Copy (HTML)

5.11  Replicators and Public Safety ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

 

Chapter 6.  Motivations for Molecular-Scale Machine Replicator Design ..... Local Copy (HTML)

6.1  Initial Motivations for Study ..... Local Copy (HTML)

6.2  Arguments Favoring a Focused Design Effort ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.2.1  Design Precedes Construction ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.2.2  Demonstration of Feasibility ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.2.3  Clarifying the Proposal ..... Local Copy (HTML)

6.3  Arguments Against a Focused Design Effort ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.1  Molecular Assemblers Are Too Dangerous ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.2  Molecular Assemblers Are “Impossible” ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.3  Assemblers Have Not Yet Been Demonstrated ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.4  An Early Design Will Not Speed Development ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.5  Assemblers Would Be No Better than Conventional Alternatives ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.6  Potential Design Errors Make the Analysis Inherently Worthless ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.7  Macroscale-Inspired Machinery Will Not Work at the Nanoscale ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.3.8  The Design is Too Obvious ..... Local Copy (HTML)

6.4  Specific Goals of a Focused Design Effort ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.4.1  Show Feasibility of Molecular Assembler or Nanofactory ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.4.2  Exemplify a Simple Design ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.4.3  Exemplify a Capable Design ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.4.4  Exemplify a Benign Design ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.4.5  Embody Principles of Good Design ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     6.4.6  Systems and Proposals for Future Research ..... Local Copy (HTML)

6.5  Focusing on Molecular Assemblers ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

Appendix A.  Data for Replication Time and Replicator Mass ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

Appendix B. Design Notes on Some Aspects of the Merkle-Freitas Molecular Assembler ..... Local Copy (HTML)

B.1 Geometrical Derivation of Assembler Dimensions ..... Local Copy (HTML)

B.2 Some Limits to Assembler Scalability ..... Local Copy (HTML)

B.3 Gas Phase vs. Solvent Phase Manufacturing ..... Local Copy (HTML)

B.4 Acoustic Transducer for Power and Control ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     B.4.1 Selection of Acoustic Frequency ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     B.4.2 Physical Description of Acoustic Transducer and Pressure Bands ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     B.4.3 Piston Fluid Flow Dynamics ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.3.1 Bulk Fluid and Laminar Flows ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.3.2 Confined-Fluid Density Layering due to Near-Wall Solvation Forces ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.3.3 Piston Operation in the Desorption and Viscous Regimes ..... Local Copy (HTML)

               B.4.3.3.1 Nature of the Physisorbed Monolayer ..... Local Copy (HTML)

               B.4.3.3.2 Operational Regimes Defined ..... Local Copy (HTML)

               B.4.3.3.3 Operation in the Desorption Regime ..... Local Copy (HTML)

               B.4.3.3.4 Operation in the Viscous Regime ..... Local Copy (HTML)

               B.4.3.3.5 Physisorption and Desorption of Nonsolvent Molecules ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     B.4.4 Thermal Expansion, Acoustic Cavitation and Resonance ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.4.1 Thermal Expansion in Diamond Walls ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.4.2 Transient Cavitation ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.4.3 Stable Cavitation ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.4.4 Acoustic Heating ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.4.5 Acoustic Torque and Fluid Streaming ..... Local Copy (HTML)

          B.4.4.6 Shock Wave Formation ..... Local Copy (HTML)

     B.4.5 Energy Efficiency and Energy Cost of Molecular Manufacturing ..... Local Copy (HTML)

B.5 Wall Stiffness During External Acoustic Forcing, Thermal Noise, or Collision ..... Local Copy (HTML)

B.6 Wall Stiffness During Internal Mechanical Activities ..... Local Copy (HTML)

B.7 Wall Sublimation and Mechanical Depassivation Contamination ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

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Index ..... Local Copy (HTML)

Back Cover ..... Local Copy (HTML)

 

 

 

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Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, last updated on 5 September 2013

since 27 June 2003