The proposal can be broken into three “phases”:
1. “ Develop proof-of-concept for manufacturing with distributed micro-robot swarm.” As well as “Develop the architecture for a networked real-time embedded system, i.e., cyber-enabled manufacturing, to design, plan and operate this micro-factory for desktop manufacturing.”
2. “Build a micro-robot swarm system that is capable parallel processing in the production the selected complex material system”
3. “Transition the micro-robot swarm desktop manufacturing technology to critical military use and the civilian sector. Build marketable manufacturing units and demonstrate the fabrication of test-beds.”
The proposal also notes that “A successful swarm micro-robot desktop manufacturing system would be useful for a variety of commercial applications. Such a manufacturing platform can be used to create super-strong components, ultra-lightweight materials, composite and hierarchical structures, complex part geometries, and/or multi-functional components.”
One possible reading of this proposal goes like this:
1. Prove we can make a micro-robot army, as well as bigger robots to make the smaller robots for us
3. Let the military have ‘em.
Oh and lets try to flip ‘em to make a profit too.
So it’s finally going to happen, robots building other robots–micro-other-robots! … better call Bridget Moynahan, Will’s gunna need a hand… that’s not robotic.