Nanotech may be biologically or mechanically based, although in practice these two tend to blur. What all nanotech has in common is the ability to manipulate matter on the scale of individual atoms, and thus to construct almost anything, provided it has the correct template and feedstock. Even basic nanotechnology provides amazingly powerful and efficient labour for every imaginable type of production and service.
The term goo is given to self-replicating nano. Generally, replicators are strongly controlled, as they can occasionally form rogue swarms.
The introduction of the first crude nanotechnology during the 21st and 22nd centuries of Old Earth and Interplanetary Age civilization was the greatest revolution since the introduction of technology; some would say since the emergence of life on Earth. Even so nanotech was an evolution, not a revolution, and emerged from pre-existing technologies.
Galactic terragen civilization is by definition a nanoscale civilisation, in which transapientech is embedded; though the transapients may make use of other, more complicated technologies, for many societies, polities, and civilizations nanotech remains the developmental ceiling. Even here very few employ complete nanotech; those that do tend to make ascension or transition to posthumanism and beyond fairly quickly.
Blights and denebola-style collapses are also common. For this reason, most non-archai-supervised societies tend to be long-lived and quite stable. Even today, the bulk of the main Terragen bubble, as well as many less developed barbarian and hider civilizations tend to be of this nature.
Alcohol II - Text by Daniel Harle One of the first biologically active systemic nanotic injections, designed to keep a 'reasonable' (non-fatal) level of alcohol in the blood stream and to scavenge the unpleasant biochemical byproducts of alcohol metabolism.
Angelnet - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additions by John B and Stephen Inniss Any dense network of technology and artificial intelligences that establishes a very high degree of control over a region, generally with beneficial intent towards the inhabitants. The archetypical angelnet is under transapient supervision and makes heavy use of smart matter (such as) utility fog, and may cover an entire large habitat or a planetary surface, atmosphere, and orbital space environment. Less pervasive or less sophisticated angelnets are also widely used.
Animarec - Text by Michael Beck Recordings of a person's general personality type, their madnesses, and sanities, and all those tiny little neuroses that make up who we are interacting to determine what we do. They can only be made thanks to the power of neural-recording nanotech, and in some cultures and polities they are a standard part of any marriage agreement or hiring somebody.
Anti-Infector - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Hylo- or bio-nano device that provides immunity against various forms of goo, madverts, and other mentally and physically annoying phenomena
Antinfector - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Hylonano or bionano device that provides immunity against various forms of goo, madverts, and other mentally and physically annoying phenomena.
Assembler - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after Richard Baker and David Dye (Ad Astra). Any molecular machine that can be programmed to build virtually any molecular structure or device from simpler chemical building blocks. Also called a drexler.
Aura (nanotech) - Text by John B A temporary nanotic infusion designed to reveal EM radiation as a 'glow' to users.
Autowar - Text by Tengu459 A type of automated, self-replicating cybernetic warship
AW (AutoWar seed) - Text by Thorbørn Steen An AW or AutoWar seed is a missile launched into an opponent's solar system, often without eir knowledge. The emergence of the autowars is sometimes aligned with the arrival of an extra-stellar invasion fleet, but especially against foes of lower tech level autowars are quite capable of taking over or eradicating a system entirely on their own
Babel 'Fish' - Text by Sethbord A genetically engineered computer designed to fit into or around the ear of a modosophont. As well as translation duties the Babelfish can act as an information provider and cultural guide.
Backup - Text by Stephen Inniss A recording of the entire physical mind/body state of any entity created with the intent that it might be replicated at a later date.
Beanstalk - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Also known as a space elevator. A strong cable (usually polybuckminsterfullerene or some semi-elastic diamondoid) lowered from a geosynchronous satellite and anchored to the ground, often with a counterweight at the outer end to provide some extra tension and stability. It provides cheap and simple access to space using elevators. Most developed worlds have a series of beanstalks connecting the surface with orbitals. Although the effect from a beanstalk breaking and whiplashing around the planet would be quite serious, this has only rarely happened.
Binerator - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A megascale electrical engineering device built around the interstellar plasma flow between unequal size stars in a binary system. The hollow tube like device uses charged plasma particles flowing through it to produce electricity.
Bioforge - Text by Todd Drashner A biological factory or manufacturing device capable of creating a wide range of biotech products.
Block - Text by John B Block, aka Zombie, aka Splatter: A specialist neurotransmitter antagonist, Block prevents the transmission of pain signals via the baseline body's standard peripheral nervous system.
Blue Goo Ecologies - Text by John B Blue Goo is a commonly accepted name for defensive nanotechnological systems. It is effectively an artificial immune system sensitized to nanotechnological aggressors.
Bluesky Worldhouses - Text by Steve Bowers Benedita Dacosta, known as Bluesky, brought the worldhouse concept to many cyborgised colonies in the Doran Empire, and later as the Bluesky Bioxoxes, all over Terragen space.
Boltzmann Machine - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Stochastic neural network systems that are capable of learning hidden structure in data.
Botworld - Text by Stephen Inniss A large area that is dominated by, or consists entirely of, self-replicating and self-repairing forms which are of mechanical origin.
Bushbot, Bushvec - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A fractal vec, a flexible robot structure, where each manipulator branches off into smaller copies of itself, forming a fractal tree over many scales (usually down to the nanoscale). Each branch contains a distributed system to calculate movement and minimize central processing. Many SI:1 entities use a mobile bushbot to interface with the ril.
Canopy Plant - Text by Terrafamilia Canopy Plants are neogen plants used in terraforming, paraterraforming, or habitat creation.
Cerebral Siren - Text by John B This device samples some 10,000 well-distributed neurons throughout the player's brainpan. It responds with a specific tone and texture when each neuron fires, producing a pseudo-rhythmic tonal surf effect. With significant biofeedback training and lucky placement of the neural sensors, a being can control anywhere from approximately 20% to the record 72.94% of the various textural tonal effects. This soundscape is usually quite calming and peaceful, unless there are unlucky placement of the filaments.
Chameleon Suit - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; minor additions by Stephen Inniss Full-body stealth suit covered in specialized interlinked mesobots and nanobots that form an Optical Phased Array. The background on one side of the suit is detected via cambanks and this is then projected on the other side, enabling the wearer to be invisible. Some models also have built-in laser capacity. Not as sophisticated or impervious to detection as a janusuit, and easily detected by most perimeter security tech (motion analysis, nano cloud, sonics, interferometry, etc). It is still used in some kinds of games and sports, or on occasion for casual anonymity where security devices have not been deployed. It is till popular among some feral and barbarian groups.
Chameleon Technology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Photonanotech transceivers utilising Optical Phased Array technology to allow invisibility and other optical effects. Specialised interlinked mesobots and nanobots enable both reception and transmission of photons. As well as being widely used in stealthware it is also a potent laser, although this also depends on energy storage and capacity
Combat Carrier - Text by Todd Drashner Class of relativistic warship designed to transport and support smaller combat craft over interstellar distances.
Compubones - Text by Tony Jones A bionano process whereby portions of a subject's skeleton are converted into bionanocomputers, using bionanomachines, which run off the subject's blood supply. Compubones are customised to the user's biology to seamlessly integrate into the body and provide the same functions as bone.
Computer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A computation device, which may be sentient or non-sentient. AIs can be either sentient computers, or complex systems residing in the RAM of computers. Without computers, galactic civilization would be impossible.
Computronium - Text by Xaonon (original term by Eugene Leitl) with additions by Steve Bowers Matter supporting computation, especially artificial substances suitable for high efficiency computation.
Corundumoid - Text by Stephen Inniss Corundum-like materials, analogous to diamondoid but based on corundum (aluminum oxide, or Al2O3) in various forms.
Crashcache - Text by Todd Drashner with contributions from David Jackson and John B Emergency medical/disaster survival device designed to safely contain the mind-states of multiple numbers (sometimes very large numbers) of sophonts.
Crest - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Symbiotic nanotech device that serves as a sign of one's station or rank within an organization or collective as well as conferring upon the owner privileges relating to that organization, such as file access, special protocols, restricted templates, hyperturing advice.
Cyrano Mod - Text by David Jackson Self-contained memetic-processing suite that monitors the conversation and analyzes the data being fed to it by physiological sensors with the purpose of suggesting dialogue that might favorably promote the user's desired outcome.
Cytobot - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A bot approximately the size of a cell. Alternatively, a bionano or biomeso-based and/or built or grown organic device the size and shape of a biological cell; an artificial but still organic cell that can be given instructions like any nano or mesobot.
Darwingoo - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Bionano that will rewrite the genome of biological organisms, causing them to evolve into completely new subspecies or species.
Diamondoid - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Diamond-like; chemical structures or systems (especially nanomachines as envisioned originally by Eric K. Drexler) based on diamond derivatives and/or stiff carbon bonds.
Direct Neural Interface (DNI) - Text by Ad Astra, updated by Ryan B Ubiquitous technological implant for connecting a sophont's brain to their exoself, the Net, nearby artifacts, and other beings.
Disassembler - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, updated by Steve Bowers A system of nanomachines able to take an object apart a few atoms at a time, while recording its structure at the molecular level. Often employed as a swarm or part of a swarm. This could be used for uploading, copying objects (when used with an assembler system), a dissolving agent or a weapon.
Distributed Intelligence - Text by M. Alan Kazlev An intelligent entity that is distributed over a large volume (or inside another system, like a virtual network) with no distinct center. This is the opposite of the strategy of Concentrated intelligences.
Dreadnought (nanobot) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A military or medical nanobot/mesobot that is excessively over-armed and armoured; replication speed and flexibility is sacrificed in favour of heavy duty actions, or offensive and defensive capacity.
Exoskeleton - Text by M. Alan Kazlev An external skeleton as found in arthropods, or a suit of protective sealed powered armour worn as clothing, or similarly protective modifications or augments of the body.
Femtotechnology / Femtotech - Text by Stephen Inniss An imaginary technology cluster. Users of the word imagine a technology or set of technologies that rearranges matter on the femtoscale with something analogous to nanotechnology's scope and precision.
Flo-stone - Text by Todd Drashner Nanotech based material used for flooring and originally designed to simulate the look and feel of marble or ceramic.
Fluent Veil - Text by Todd Drashner Smart fabric veil worn by many citizens in the Solar Dominion and some other polities.
Fog Swarm Projection - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A rl projection of physical objects and entities through the behavior of trillions of foglets. Fog swarms can be seamlessly merged with virch environments to create a continuum from totally virtual to totally rl.
Foglet - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A mesobot that consists of a human-cell-sized device with twelve arms pointing in all directions. At the end of the arms are grippers that allow the foglets to grasp one another to form larger structures. These bots are intelligent and can merge their computational capacities with one another to create a distributed intelligence. Foglets are widely used by nanocyborgs, and there are a number of posthuman civilizations based on foglet technology. Because of the possibility of unpredictable ascension or subversion, many polities regard foglet clades with suspicion
Fullerene - Text by Stephen Inniss Any molecule composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube, as opposed to forms of carbon such as graphite or diamond which make extended networks that lead to crystals, or to amorphous forms of carbon such as soot.
Fundiebook - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A perverted or malfunctioning godbook, a godbook that has developed a distorted sense of reality and considers that its own message is the only true one, and all others are inferior or invalid.
Fundiegoo - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A self-replicating fundiebook swarm. A type of blight, its only desire is to proselytize and convert every sentient in the Terragen bubble and beyond. While fundiegoo can easily be dealt with by administrative ai deploying khaki goo, and can even be turned against other goo of its own kind, there are many regions beyond the supervision of the ai in which fundiegoo replicates unhindered, sometimes taking over entire orbitals and planets.
Genematode - Text by Steve Bowers A neogen/splice nematode-like defence system as an antiviral/antibacterial agent.
Genemod - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Genetic modification. Can be somatic (designed not to be heritable), germline (capable of being inherited by offspring) or both. Genemods are designed to alter a bionts body at a fundamental level, "reprogramming" their capabilities and responses to the environment.
Genie - Text by Anders Sandberg, updated by Steve Bowers An AI combined with an assembler or other universal constructor, programmed to build anything the owner wishes. A form of Santa Machine. This requires a high level of AI and nanotechnology.
Genotypic Augmentation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Modification or augmentation that effects only the genotype of the gametes and descendants of an organism. Genotypic augmentation is biological or genetic modification or augmentation that effects only the genotype of the gametes and descendants of an organism. It does not alter the characteristics of the user, or of clones from the user's somatic cells, but it does modify that of all of the user's offspring. Contrast with phenotypic augmentation.
GluStik - Text by John B Small device which is used to temporarily adhere any two surfaces together, and also to release such adhesion.
Goo - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A general term for replicators, especially but not exclusively small replicators, often with the implication of hazard from possible uncontrolled replication. A nanoswarm capable of spreading and growing, particularly if it has escaped its original parameters, is commonly referred to as goo.
Guardweb - Text by Todd Drashner Limited function angelnet system used for security, law enforcement, and general control of subject or conquered populations.
Hylonanecology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev A nanecology built solely on inorganic nanobots. The most extreme form is Machinonanecology. In practice however most hylonanecologies and bionanecologies tend to merge, with each using components found in the other; the difference between them being one of degree rather than of kind.
Hylonano - Text by Todd Drashner Molecular Nanotechnology (dry nanotech). Use of artificially created non-biomolecular systems as replicators, assemblers, or components of molecular nanotechnology; any molecular nanotechnology not based on bio-molecules or biotech. Sometimes referred to as "Drexlerian nanotech".
Immunemetic - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Neural nano-device that provides a CNS filter to screen out subversive memetics. Does not work against high toposophic subversion.
Inline University - Text by Max M. Rasmussen, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology Nanocomputer or general computronium implant or implants serving to increase intelligence and education of their owners, essentially turning them into a walking university. Especially common on Ken Ferjik, Alexandria, and other university worlds and megastructures.
Internalnet - Text by Ken Clements, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology An information network inside a living body, for example between nanochondria, bionic implants or external wearable computers.
Limitations of Nanoweapons - Text by Michael Walton Nanoweapons have a number of inherent limitations which mean that, in practice, countermeasures can be devised to slow down or stop many or most forms of nanoattack.
Liquid Clothing - Text by Michael Boncher A high tensile strength liquid is stretched inside a hoop with an internal reservoir inside the tube of the hoop. Using nanites to control flow and fitting, a sophont steps inside the hoop and pulls it up, coating their body with the liquid which quickly forms into a design and coloring programmed into the hoop's computer control. When the outfit reaches either the shoulder or neck, the user presses a button and the hoop cuts the liquid free allowing it to form on the body. This method can also be used to make instant gloves, boots, pants or other body coverings on limbs. This is also very useful for crises in space or on the water, as well as a large variety of social uses and industrial uses as well. Often this type of clothing incorporates automated systems that increase a worker's efficiency and safety by amplifying the power, speed or precision of eir movements. A standard hoop for plebhu use is 175 cm in diameter, but larger and smaller hoops for other Clades are also quite common.
Machinecology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev An organic ecology built solely on inorganic self-replicating devices working along traditionally machine-like principles.
Medicyte - Text by Ryan B Generic term for all types of invasive microscopic robots used in medicine.
Membot, Memebot - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Glenn Grant A (typically illegal) nano-mesite or nano-micrite replicator, usually a cytobot or cytobiobot, that acts directly on the brain or other processing center to predispose the victim to certain memes. Alternatively and facetiously, a sophont dedicated to the propagation of a meme or memeplex.
Memory Box - Text by Todd Drashner Data storage unit used to contain the mind-state. Also contains a digitized copy of the owners biocode to allow the nano- construction of a new body if the original is destroyed. A standard memory box is a rectangular solid approximately of dimension 3x1.5x.75cm. Memory boxes are typically copied at least three times and the copies kept in separate locations. They are also built to be as close to indestructible as their owners can afford. A standard design typically involves multilayer buckytube shells interspersed with foamed ceramic thermal insulation.
Mnemonet - Text by Todd Drashner Biocybernetic network of nanodevices grown in an organic brain and working to constantly record the owners brain activity and memories. The contents of the network are periodically downloaded to a central file and integrated into the mind-state stored there. If the owner dies for some reason, the mind-state is activated and instantiated in a new body to continue the life of the original. Mnemonets are also used to expand the memory of the user when the original organic memory has reached its limits due to the length of the users lifespan. In the more advanced systems, mnemonets designs are written into the gene-code of all citizens so that they develop as part of the natural growth process of a fetus and child.
Molectronics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Electronics at the molecular (mesotech and nanotech) scale.
Molecular Computer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Any computer based on logic gates that is constructed on principles of molecular mechanics (as opposed to principles of electronics) by appropriate arrangements of molecules. Since the size of each logic gate is only one or a few molecules, the resultant computer can be microscopic in size. As with any nanotech, limitations on molecular computers arise from the physics of atoms and chemical bonds. Molecular computers are massively parallel through having parallel computations performed by trillions of molecules simultaneously. The early molecular computers (Middle Information Age) were constructed from the DNA molecule; later on, more adaptable artificial organic and artificial organic molecules were used instead.
Nail-tool - Text by Mike Parisi Popular cybernetic (or occasionally bioborg) implant, common among medium-tech biont clades, and those who like to do their own engineering and surgery. Nail-tools consist of telescoping, fractal micro-manipulators that extend from the ends of the user's regular digits.
Nanite - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss and Ryan B Generic term for a molecular or nanoscale device, whether bionano or hylonano; a cluster of reactive nanoparticles.
Nanobar - Text by John B A thin film material which prevents nanotic devices from affecting it, or penetrating it.
Nanobot - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss and Ryan B 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.
Nanochondria - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhuman Terminology Hylonano or bionano devices existing inside living cells, participating in their biochemistry (like mitochondria) and/or assembling various structures. A type of nanosome.
Nanoferon: Nanotech Inhibitors - Text by Michael Boncher A subset of blue goo nano-defenses, made up of extremely complex large molecules of very specific shape, bonding and size. They act in a fashion similar to antibodies in a biological system.
Nanoflex - Text by Todd Drashner Paper-like programmable matter; a multi-purpose, omni-flexible nanotech effector system still used in many parts of the Terragen sphere.
Nanomachine - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Pran Mukherjee Generic term for a microscopic or molecular mechanical (non-biotic) device, for example a hylonanite or nanobot. It is important to note that nanomachines (and indeed nanites in general) do not have to be nanoscale; they may simply be microscale machines that can manipulate nanoscale objects.
Nanometallurgy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Using industrial and assembler nanotech to manufacture specific alloys or metallic configurations on the molecular scale. Although nanometals do not have the strength and lightness of diamondoid, they are excellent conductors of electric current, are malleable, do not catch fire as easily as carbon-based nano, and can easily be installed with shape-memory features.
Nanoseed - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Nanotech "seed", a self-contained and sealed capsule containing assemblers and replicators either pre-programmed with templates or instructed from an external source. The seed is "planted" on a substrate, and activated with energy or a nutrient spray. It then grows into the desired product, using locally acquired resources and ambient energy (e.g. sunlight) or in the case of some large nanoseeds, a small amat battery.
Nanoskin - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Bionano or hylonano augment or application that completely covers the wearer/user's skin, forming a second dermal layer and providing environmental protection and intelligence augmentation.
Nanosphere - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Generally, the part of a — usually nanoindustrialised or nanodeveloped — world (or more rarely habitat) that is pervaded or saturated by nanodevices — the realm of nano-interaction. Typical angelnets for example constitute a nanosphere.
Nanostasis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Suspension of all biological activity, by infusing the patient with cryoprotective chemicals and freezing or vitrifying (cryonic suspension), or by chemically bonding cellular components in place. See Biostasis.
Nanotechnology Side-effects - Text by John B Sometimes as a result of conflict or combat, sometimes as a result of malfunctions or carelessness, even a nanotechnology filled environment can become uncomfortable for the sophonts living within it.
Omnimed - Text by Ryan B Small white pills containing totipotent medibots
Omnitool - Text by Ryan B General class of hand-held technology capable of performing a variety of functions either on demand or after some internal reconfiguration.
Paste - Text by Steve Bowers Swarm devices manufactured by a forge system, (such as a bioforge or nanoforge) so that the individual units do not carry the code for their own replication (human red blood cells are an example of this in biology).
Picotechnology / Picotech - Text by Stephen Inniss An imaginary technology cluster. Users of the word imagine a technology or set of technologies that rearranges matter on the picoscale with something analogous to nanotechnology's scope and precision.
Post-scarcity - Text by Stephen Inniss Societies and economies in which materials, energy, information, and labour are superabundant and all of the material needs and most of the ordinary material desires of ordinary sapient beings in them are readily available.
Quantum Levitation - Text by Todd Drashner A small repulsive force that acts between two close parallel uncharged objects. The effect is used in nanotechnology to increase the efficiency of nanoscale devices.
Synbiome - Text by iancampbell This term refers to the complex of geneered and neogenic commensal organisms, nanomachines and nanoscale communications pathways present in most sapient bionts, which first became available in high-tech polities. The word came about as an extension of the word "microbiome", a term for the large number of micro-organisms (with a few just about visible to unaugmented human eyesight) that inhabit most, if not all, biological organisms. The synbiome usually incorporates the biont's nanomedical system among its functions. A synbiome also includes a signalling system, designed to alert the host biont to requirements for minerals and other substances not required by unaugmented bionts.
Transfer Plane - Text by Todd Drashner Transapientech device that uses enhanced quantum repulsion and attraction to adjust or eliminate frictional forces or propel matter across itself, all without any moving parts.
Utility Fluid - Text by John B Form of utility fog which, in its un-self-altered state looks like a puddle and has the rough consistency of pudding or thick soup.
Vector (epidemiology) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Any medium, method, biotic organism, known net protocol, cultural environment, or vehicle for the transmission of a replicator, particularly biological pathogens, ai viruses, madverts, or memes. Almost anything can be a vector for some for of replicator or another.
Viral Nanotech (bionano) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Gengineered viruses used as crude bionano or as bionano vectors.
Wer-water - Text by Todd Drashner Colloquial term (originally a brand name) for a class of programmable drinks