Monday, September 12, 2005

Ant logic makes sense in space

A spacecraft skin is being developed that assesses the severity of any damage it suffers from space debris and other impacts. The project, which is inspired by the behaviour of ants, is seen as the first step towards a self-repairing craft.

Shades of the organic "bitek" spacecraft in Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy. I suspect spacecraft two-hundred years from now will more closely resemble hives than machines as we're used to them.


metachor said...

Vernor Vinge uses this idea in his novel A Fire Upon The Deep.

Mac said...

It's been a while since I've read "Deep," but I do seem to remember some sort of crystalline nanotech. Great book; I had a hard time putting that one down. "A Deepness in the Sky" is on my to-read list.