Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Robotic Headlice

Maintain good hair with tiny resident robots
  [vote for,

One of the issues with head lice is that our agenda do not align. They want to suck our blood, lay eggs and poo all over our hair, and this is frequently not in accord with our own barnet plans.

Enter the tiny metal robot hairdresser. This is a relatively small population of automata which hang out in your hair and do things like untangle it, clear up split ends, crimp it, cut it, arrange it, clear up dandruff and so forth. They either stay in your hair or have a home of their own somewhere on your dressing table or maybe in a hair ornament of some kind. They power themselves with tiny internal combustion engines running on hair grease, and are programmable.

nineteenthly, Nov 01 2021

robotic_20medusa [hippo, Nov 01 2021]

smallest working IC engine https://www.youtube...watch?v=lXXgjdfn7So
[pocmloc, Nov 01 2021]

behave_20beehive_20hairdo [xenzag, Nov 01 2021]

Roomba_20Shaver [calum, Nov 02 2021]

Hair Cutting Robot (Stuff Made Here) https://youtu.be/7zBrbdU_y0s
Just one robot and it's big and can only do mullets [sninctown, Nov 04 2021]


       The exhaust smoke coming off your head would be enough of a show.   

       Having them change hairstyles on the fly would be rad.   

       Not that flies were much known for rad hairstyles. But this could improve their image...
RayfordSteele, Nov 01 2021

       How big are these things?
pocmloc, Nov 01 2021

       I like it, but.   

       Magic Wibni at this time & I'm pretty sure John Meaney already half baked it in fiction (in To Hold Infinity & others of that series), their are probably older fiction versions & he may well have got the idea from someone else.   

       He had nanobots that arrange clothing & change its colours as desired controlled by some sort of wireless connection, pretty sure he applied it to hair as well (can't really be bothered to read all the way through the books just to check though).   

       He also had 'smart gel' which sounded like a preprogramed variant of nanobot in a gel suspension that cleaned you, you smeared it on let it crawl over your body & through your hair then it gathers in a pool on the floor & crawls back into its dispensing tube.   

       The internal combustion engines powered by hair grease is probably new though, might mean they have to be a bit big to be innocuously inconspicuous.   

       But steampunk nanobots, accept they're more macro, what's not to love.
Skewed, Nov 01 2021

       Nice. These robots should also make your hair wave sexily in the breeze, even when there isn't a breeze (slight overlap between this application and the linked idea)
hippo, Nov 01 2021


       [pocmloc], they'd be the size of headlice. There doesn't seem to be any limitation on practicality there to be honest. Headlice are still able to do what they do.   

       [Skewed], thanks. maybe, I haven't read him. I wouldn't really say it was magic at this point because it isn't exactly nanotech but on the millimetre scale. It's already known to be possible that mechanisms, namely ants, a couple of millimetres long, can do this kind of thing although they may lack the motivation. The alternative to using robots would've been selective breeding of insects, and that really would've been magic.
nineteenthly, Nov 01 2021

       Looks like the smallest IC engines stop around 1cm order of magnitude size. Presumably there are good thermodynamic reasons why people are not cheerily making 1mm sized IC engines.   

       If the engine is 1cm, you also need to be able to harvest enough oil to run it. I think engines that small are not very efficient, so you would only have one per head and it may not be able to run 24 hours a day.   

       So the device itself would probably be of the order of 5cm sized. Not impossible but certainly noticeable.
pocmloc, Nov 01 2021

       //need to be able to harvest enough oil to run it //   

       No problem, this just provides an opportunity for the manufacturers to sell supplies of hair oil for them, some excellent consumables sales prospects built into the product line there.   

       Rentisham's hasn't been doing a lot lately, may be room on their Traditional Flenting Wax production line for this, maybe they'd like to tender for the contract, must see if I still have any contact details for Sturton or the Intercalary lying about somewhere.
Skewed, Nov 01 2021

       Though I cringe at little bugs running around my head, I quite like the idea that they can help split- ends, And love [hippo]’s idea of making sexy, blowing hair.   

xandram, Nov 01 2021

       [pocmloc], that reminds me of a closeup I saw once of a baby shrew with a flea relatively the size of an ear hanging off the side of the head. It's doable smaller because mitochondria and flagella do it, but whether the impetus exists for it to be done I don't know.
nineteenthly, Nov 01 2021

       That depends what you mean by "it".
pocmloc, Nov 01 2021

       Deep in the depths of my past, I remember an article (on "Beyond 2000" TV show, probably) about tiny robotics, & pretty much the first "use case" talked about was "maybe they'll be living in our hair; they'll know exactly how long each hair should be, & cut the tip off if it gets too long" (I paraphrase the end, but that first phrase has stuck with me).
At least 25 years ago, & likely more.
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 01 2021

       I love this idea. The difficulty seems to be with the "internal combustion" part. There must be a solution somewhere between the literal burning of hydrocarbons, which, per [poc], can't go below 1cm, and the figurative burning of carbohydrates, which is known to happen perfectly well on smaller scales than that. [+]
pertinax, Nov 01 2021

       //must be a solution somewhere between the literal burning of hydrocarbons // and the figurative burning of carbohydrates//   

       Personally I'd go straight for something bioengineered like Bruce Sterling's (The Artificial Kid) tailored (they can only live on 'their' person) symbiotic micro millipede worm thingies small enough to crawl into skin pores .. but you don't get programmable with those they just keep you clean & hunt down any other wee beasties with the audacity to try & take up residence.
Skewed, Nov 01 2021

       If I were to say this was a really lousy idea it totally wouldn't be an insult. (+)   

       I'm not enormously attached to the internal combustion engine part, to be honest. It just seemed that the presence of sebum in the hair was a potential resource. But it could run on something else, such as the temperature difference between the scalp and the outside world perhaps, with teensy Stirling engines, or just electric motors.
nineteenthly, Nov 02 2021

       You need more sleep, or less dreaming, or something. This idea scares me. Thinking of anything crawling about my head EVER, for any reason, is tingly and terrible.
blissmiss, Nov 03 2021

       //tingly & terrible//   

       Tingly? terrible? personally I've always liked tingly, is there an oxymoron in there somewhere?
Skewed, Nov 03 2021

       Good tingly v Bad tingly. Both exist I say, and this gadget is in the former's realm.
blissmiss, Nov 04 2021

       Thanks [blissmiss]. So what I need to do is install a switch which changes it from bad tingly to good tingly, and turn it on as in Simpsons Evil Crusty Doll, or maybe just change the wiring so it's always set to good tingly.
nineteenthly, Nov 04 2021

       I thought there were household appliance for that [nineteenthly]? they oscillate very fast or something don't they? never tried one, they just don't seem designed for me somehow.
Skewed, Nov 04 2021


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