Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines

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

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 2004.


2.3.1 Simplified von Neumann Automaton Replication

Von Neumann’s automata replicative process closely mirrors the biological one. In the original model, instructions exist in two copies. One of the copies is read and acted upon to construct another machine, but without instructions. The second copy is then read and copied twice, and this double copy is inserted into the passive constructed offspring machine which is then turned on and released, thus completing the act of replication. There is no logical necessity for having two sets of identical instructions. Von Neumann employed two copies of the instructions because it eliminated the criticism that the instructions might, in the first (construction) phase, become corrupted and so not be able to transmit a true version for the use of offspring machine. Another solution is to provide the machine proper with an automatic “wired-in” copy routine which the program calls for at the proper time.


Last updated on 1 August 2005