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.


4.11.3 Merkle-Freitas Hydrocarbon Molecular Assembler (2000-2003)

A new design for a molecular assembler employing the extruding brick architecture, drawing upon modified elements of earlier designs (Sections 4.11.1 and 4.11.2) and introducing new design elements, resulted from a multi-year collaboration between Merkle and Freitas during 2000-2003. The Merkle-Freitas molecular assembler design repairs all known defects of earlier efforts and addresses additional problems not previously recognized by others. For example, the acoustic power/control piston count is reduced to one, allowing volumetric displacement, power input, efficiency, and reliability to be maximized. The proposed control signal demultiplexor is eliminated in favor of a much simpler control chain concept. The design is further simplified by the elimination of all gases from the interior (substituting a vacuum), by adding a novel “elevator” mechanism, and by eliminating all internal cabling which would be relatively difficult to assemble reliably. The continuous extrusion of daughters is achieved while maintaining full external seal integrity of parental device walls, thus preventing the destruction of parental devices following replication. All waste products – including molecular effluents (e.g., spent parts handles, gases), ruptured casings, and destroyed parental devices – are eliminated, yielding a 100% clean, environment-friendly, zero-waste molecular manufacturing system, the first such ever to be proposed.

A summary description of the Merkle-Freitas hydrocarbon molecular assembler design appears below. A more complete description of the design with all available details may be published elsewhere at a future date. (A few details are in Appendix B.)


Last updated on 1 August 2005