Space Robotics

Self-replicating Von Neumann Probes

Posted 26 Apr 2004 at 21:42 UTC by steve Share This

Universe Today has posted an interview with Dr. Michio Kaku in which he talks about the types of civilizations that might exist in the Universe and rates them as Type I, II, or III (Earth almost qualifies as Type I but is not advanced enough yet; Star Trek's Federation rates as Type II and the Borg as Type III). He also talks a bit about Von Neumann probes; self-replicating, autonomous robots that would be the most practical way to explore intersteller space. The probes would "live off the land", finding planets with raw materials, setting up robot factories, and sending out more probes as they progressed. The virus-like replication would allow the entire galaxy to be explored in as little as 100,000 years.

Hummm...., posted 27 Apr 2004 at 13:55 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

It sorta leaves me wondering if they'd start destroying everything in the process. Like the damaged probe in the first Startrek Series. Or the Replicators in the Stargate SG1 series. Or even worse like the "Virus" SF movie. Self Replicating neural net systems have a lot of room for "evolution" in there. We have no idea what would happen or come of it.

Grey goo now available at Toys R Us!, posted 27 Apr 2004 at 20:49 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

CNN has some self-replicating varmits but mechanical grey goo I don't believe will be available at your local 7-11 or Toys R Us for many years to come. Don't stare at the grey goo. Not responsible for harm if you growl at the grey goo. Don't get grey goo on hands or in brain. Seems P Charles is worried about it though.

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