Posted: February 23, 2007

Lots of nanotechnology in roadmap of the 21st century

(Nanowerk News) You might already have seen Peter Pesti's compilation "Detailed Roadmap of the 21st Century" posted at the Georgia Tech website.
Pesti's compilation is a year by year bullet point list of notable advances expected to happen in the 21st century, from 2006 onwards. The motivation for creating such a compilation is to allow us to evaluate predictions in context of other predictions; evaluate their credibility in view of the big picture; and finally, to enable us to better plan and prepare for the coming years. Since the goal is to provide an overview of predictions, the list contains no original research or predictions: all listed advances are marked with their sources. When time ranges are given in the original sources, the most pessimistic (ie. latest) predictions are used. While the compilation aims to be comprehensive, it does not aim to be coherent: it is up to the reader to resolve conflicting predictions by trusting one (or none) of the sources.
For ground truth reference, listed advances include planned phases of large science and construction projects (with plans extending mostly until 2015), some regular political and sporting events (until 2025), and the age of Britney Spears. Projections on the state of the world (until 2050) are from Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the United Nations and the US intelligence community. Technology development projections are from DoD roadmaps, a nanotechnolog expert survey, a semiconductor roadmap, and futurist opinions (Kurzweil, Klatz, Grossman, deGrey). An extensive compilation from British Telecom's futurologists is also included, although predictions on that list have no source indications and the authors compiling the list "do not necessarily approve or condone what we are predicting will happen".
Failed predictions are marked red, while successful ones are marked green. The compilation will be extended, and these marks will be updated as we move deeper into the century. No predictions will be taken off the list.
Just recently, someone has made a video using a selection of the Roadmap predictions. It's quite amusing to watch, although the music becomes somewhat annoying.
There are quite a few nanotechnology relevant predictions in the list. Keep in mind what happened to this kind of predictions in the past ("flying cars" by 2001 etc.). Some are pretty far out, as might be expected from Kurzweil et. al., some are pretty realistic, especially the shorter term ones.
NRAM - nanotube ram, always-on high density computer memory
  • Smart and adaptable surfaces at the nanoscale are the basic building block for Biodetection
  • Nanosized imaging agents (e.g. quantum dots) are used for analysis and diagnosis inside cells without affecting their normal functionality
  • 2015
  • Targeted drug delivery based on nanoparticles becomes a standard tool (for therapeutic purposes, performance enhancement etc)
  • Nanotools (e.g. optical tweezers) are used for manipulation inside cells while keeping the cells' integrity and activity
  • Biosensors for detection of single molecules based on nano arrays (e.g arrays of nanotubes) are commercially available
  • Nanoelectronics chips are commercially manufactured by using DNA or peptides(as templates or for nanopatterning)
  • Novel nanostructured biomaterials replace existing materials (e.g. polymers)
  • DNA nanotechnology creates nanotools and parts
  • Nanowalkers, nanoworms, nanofish
  • 2017
  • Sensory augmentation using sensory implants, nanoparticles etc
  • Nanotechnology toys
  • 2018
  • Carbon nanotube fiber inexpensive and with over 50GPa tensile strength
  • Actuated diamond tools and nanoparts created
  • 2019
    Nanoengineered machines are beginning to be applied to manufacturing and process-control applications
  • Thanks to advances in nanobiotechnology, the fundamental processes of the cellular cycle are mostly understood
  • Advancements in nanobiotechnology enable the construction in vitro of artificial human organs
  • Biological energy conversion systems (e.g. biomolecular motors) are practically used in artificial micro/nano systems
  • Nanotech based organism colonies
  • 2023
    Introductory nanofactory
  • Nano-machines for theranostics (therapy and diagnosis) are practically used inside the body
  • Billion CPU personal nanocomputers
  • Nano-RFID tags with built-in memory simplify constant detailed tracking and monitoring of everything
  • Nano-enabled space vehicles, 10-1000 times better performance
  • Nanofactories create space vehicles with ion drives with 750 kWe/kg specific power, speed 0.5 AU per day and 9.8 m/s2 acceleration. Earth to Mars in 1 to 3 days, Earth to Saturn in 20 days
  • 2030
  • Nanobots scan the brain from inside
  • Full immersion virtual reality with nanobots, from within the nervous system
  • First orbital country, nanotube structure many kilometers in diameter at L5, population 100,000+
  • Human cells interfaced with nanotech
  • Nanobots in toothpaste attack plaque
  • Nanotechnology plants
  • 2035
    Nanotechnology weapons used in war, over 500 million dead
  • Space elevator based on carbon nanotube cable
  • Nanotech based virus communicable between machines and people, sent over net
  • Real' toy soldiers using nanotechnology
  • 2049
  • The common use of nanoproduced food, which has the correct nutritional composition and the same taste and texture of organically produced food, means that the availability of food is no longer affected by limited resources, bad crop weather, or spoilage
  • Nanobot swarm projections are used to create visual-auditory-tactile projections of people and objects in real reality
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