January 1, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 1)
Strong Points: Ambitious technology
Weak Points: May not be possible
Here’s a site that had a completely different focus from I had of it in my first impression when I selected it for inclusion in this month’s reviews. Serving mainly as an information source for books covering self-replicating machines, Assembler Books seemed to be describing either an artificial life system or nanomachines. The latter is closer to the actual interest of the site’s creator – diamondoid mechanosynthesis. Yowza! These people are actually employing self-replication technology towards manufacturing precise diamond-related products. As noted on the Nanofactory Collaboration the aim here is not making stones for rings, but rather machines and products made of diamond, which is probably the strongest known substance. The project appears to be just getting started and, indeed, is only theoretical at this point, but with the obvious economic implications of such a project combined with rapidly advancing knowledge about self-replicating systems, you can expect to hear a lot more about growing diamondoids as time goes by.