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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
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
[hippo, Nov 01 2021]
smallest working IC engine
[pocmloc, Nov 01 2021]
[xenzag, Nov 01 2021]
[calum, Nov 02 2021]
Hair Cutting Robot (Stuff Made Here)
Just one robot and it's big and can only do mullets [sninctown, Nov 04 2021]
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||The exhaust smoke coming off your head would be enough of
||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...
||How big are these things?
||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 &
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
||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,
||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)
||[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.
||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.
||//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
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.
||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,
||[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.
||That depends what you mean by "it".
||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] I think you're right. I don't have a specific
TV reference in mind but I'm pretty sure I read a similar
proposal for nanobots to shave your face at least that long ago.
||Not powered by internal combustion though. That's truly half
||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
||//must be a solution somewhere between the literal
of hydrocarbons // and the figurative burning of
||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
but you don't get programmable with those
they just keep you clean & hunt down any other wee
the audacity to try & take up residence.
||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
||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.
||Tingly? terrible? personally I've always liked tingly, is there an
oxymoron in there somewhere?
||Good tingly v Bad tingly. Both exist I say, and this gadget is in
the former's realm.
||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.
||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