Browse Definitions :
Definition

universal constructor

A universal constructor is a device that can self-replicate - that is, make copies of itself. Self-replication is important in the fields of robotics and nanotechnology .

Scientists at Bath University (U.K.) speculate that a universal constructor could increase in numbers exponentially, evolve by Darwinian natural selection, and be reasonable in cost. Such a machine could physically grow by assembling multiple-unit components into something larger. For example, an entire house or building could be built up from many identical components clamped together.

Universal constructors could produce an unlimited variety of consumer and industrial products. It has been suggested that the devices could allow anyone to become a small-scale manufacturer, thus increasing general wealth and reducing the need for massive industrial plants. Self-replicating machines could be a boon to society in general in similarly limitless ways, for example by turning garbage into useful hardware.

Although universal constructors offer the potential of far-reaching benefits, some people fear potential risks, such as unforeseen economic disruption and misuse by people with nefarious intent.

This was last updated in July 2005

Continue Reading About universal constructor

SearchCompliance

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • cyber espionage

    Cyber espionage, also called cyber spying, is a form of cyber attack that is carried out against a competitive company or ...

  • virus (computer virus)

    A computer virus is malicious code that replicates by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document and ...

  • honeypot (computing)

    A honeypot is a network-attached system set up as a decoy to lure cyber attackers and detect, deflect and study hacking attempts ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close