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A nanomorph, term arguably first coined by SF writer David Pulver in 1986's GURPS Robots, is a fictional robot entirely made of nanomachines. Its brain is distributed throughout its whole body, which also acts as an all-around sensor, hence making it impossible to surprise as long as the target is on line of sight. A nanomorph is arguably the robotic ultimate in versatility, maybe even in power. Further uses of the concept could include using parts of its body as a tracking device, splitting the body for doing several tasks, or merging two nanomorphs in a greater one, or else gliding/flying in an ornithopter-like way (by molding itself like a giant, articulated kite).
Additional recommended knowledge
A common but facultative (without this feature, it would still qualify as a nanomorph) improvement is the ability to cover itself with specific colors and textures in a realistic looking manner (the ultimate being to look like a human, à la doppelgänger). The most famous example of such a nanomorph is the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but one can also mention a similarly-featured creature from the Dungeons and Dragons game, the Living Steel (image), and the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks has a rather advanced type known as the EDust assassin. Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis both feature nanomorphs with the human-form replicators and the Asurans, respectively. A foglet is a similar concept used in the comic book Transmetropolitan. A close cousin is Glacius in the game Killer Instinct, except that it is not a robot but a living being. Also we can count the so-called "carbosilicate Amorph" Sergeant Schlock of Howard Tayler's Webcomic "Schlock Mercenary to the big fantasy family of Nanomorphs. More scientifically plausible examples from fiction are the nanomorphs explained in Michael Crichton's novel Prey.
Arguably, the human form, albeit dramatic, is sub-optimal for most tasks except social relations (for instance, infiltration).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nanomorph". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|