describe linkConcept by J. Storrs Hall. Foglet image courtesy of Wikimedia.
A collective of mesobots or nanobots ("foglets") that link together into a complex network in the air, able to work together to exert force in any direction or transmit information between each other. Each foglet has grabbers at the ends of the arms allowing them to mechanically link to one another and share both information and energy, enabling them to act as a continuous substance with mechanical and optical properties that could be varied over a wide range. Each foglet can compute and can communicate with its neighbors.
Each foglet is a dodecahedron with 12 arms extending outwards. Each arm has four degrees of freedom. When linked together the foglets form an octet truss. The foglets' bodies are made of aluminum oxide rather than combustible diamond to avoid creating a mobile fuel air explosive (though this is an option when needed).
Utility fog can be used to simulate any environment, essentially providing the real world with the environment-transforming capabilities of virch. This gives users almost complete control over their physical environment.
- 'Creation' causing objects to appear and disappear on command
- 'Levitation' and 'Telekinesis' causing objects to hover and fly around,causing forces (squeezing, hitting, pulling) on objects (real ones) at a distance. This includes a distance of inches; bend steel bars (real ones) like Superman, though most fogs will have safeties involved to prevent harm to others
- Transport by riding 'clouds' of utility fog (up to 500 m/s)
- Extreme telepresence or 'teleportation' by using utility fogs to physically simulate users between Fog-filled locations
- Want to see the world from the point of view of a mouse? For 'casual' shape-shifting, the computing power of the Fog around you simulates very large feet, baseboards, etc, while your telepresence drives a mouse-sized and -shaped Fog program.
- 'Shape-shifting' - To get a detailed simulation, it usually requires tying up a significant portion of the computing capability of the Fog around you to simulate the changes in friction, effects of gravity and effective size of the telepresence program on a human sized operator. Frequently, its just easier to tie it into gravity manipulation (SA p133) and programmable surfaces (SA p146).
Utility fogs are a product of advanced nanotechnology, since they require it to be designed, but not actually nanotech (50 to 100 microns is the size of a typical foglet). Combine this with widespread replicators, and utility fogs are possible.
Tech Level: Nanotech 6