Nano-surfaces Could Keep the House Clean and Reduce Traffic Accidents


While doing dishes this morning I suddenly realized that a counter top with a surface enhanced with nanotechnology devices could make my life easier.  What if nano-devices embedded in the counter top could recognize food and dirt and distinguish between those substances and the dishes and silverware?   On recognizing food or dirt the nano-devices would synchronously begin moving it, in tiny increments of course, all in the same direction.  The food, dirt, and even bacteria would be passed, bucket-brigade fashion, to one end of the table where they would drop off into a trash receptacle designed for the purpose.  Nano-devices in the counter surface could also detect bacteria and viruses and break their cell walls or otherwise kill them.  Such a technology would have many more applications, however.

If such a technology was mass-produced, as is possible in the future, our homes and businesses could become a lot easier to keep clean and sanitary.   There is another angle that occurred to me, too – wheeled vehicles.

Imagine a road coated or constructed from nanotechnology devices – an active surface that could detect tire rubber and grab it briefly for added traction.   Imagine tires coated with or made from similar devices.  Braking could become much more effective, and traction could greatly improve without necessarily decreasing fuel economy.  Car accidents might be greatly reduced.

Since nano-devices might be controlled by wireless means – they are far too small to be connected to any wire we can easily use – the police could potentially pull over a speeder or erratic driver by having the nano devices in the road grab the tires and try to hold on, bringing the desired vehicle to a quick stop.  A stopped vehicle could potentially be slid off the road by bucket-brigade-like action of the nano-devices in the road surface, all by remote control.   In fact, the road might normally move objects such as trash and stones off of the road surface, making it safer for traffic.

What else might nanotechnology do for us in the future?  It will be interesting to see.

As always, I welcome your comments.  – Tim

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