Ultrasmall robotic device, larger than a nanite

Image from Steve Bowers

A hylotech, biotech or syntech bot that uses nanoscale mechanisms and manipulates objects on the nanoscale. By convention nanobots are less than one micrometre in size; larger bots enabled by nanotech are referred to as mesobots, cytobots, or microbots, or if they are still larger then they may be called as mitebots, synsects, or simply bots.

In the popular imagination nanobots are motile, have some sensory equipment and internal information processing capability, are neumann-capable, have an internal power source can access external power such as light or chemical fuels, and can employ both mechanosynthetic and chemosynthetic techniques. While a given nanobot might have one or two or several of these traits, bots so sophisticated that they have all those abilities are much larger; at least the size of microbots. Nanobots are also sometimes confused with nanites, but nanites are much smaller and simpler constructs and may function as nanobot components. Swarms of specialized nanobots under the direction of larger systems are essential elements of modern technology. Among their millions of applications are medical treatment and cellular rejuvenation, food replication, domestic household service, industrial molecular manufacturing and assembly of all kinds, waste management, and repair and maintenance of transport systems.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss and Ryan B
Initially published on 09 December 2001.