Product: Robot
unturning robots   (+3)  [vote for, against]
autonomous screwdrivers/wrenches

small machines with wheels, some sort of magnet to keep them on metal ,[such as a chassis of an old appliance with many screws and bolts inside] and a clamp to fit over bolts/nuts or a screwdriver head on a rotating wheel ,near the middle[rather than a long machine held by a hand,outside];that drive into the object to be dismantled until they come across a screw ,bolts or a nut.
-- technobadger, Mar 09 2002

Macro nanites? [PeterSealy] is right, they'll need some purchase to navigate. How about magnetic wheels?

Another thing to think about: What if the screw is longer than their ground clearance?
-- phoenix, Mar 10 2002

They wouldn't be able to undo through-bolts, unless they co-ordinate with a partner on the other side. As to the long screws, telescoping legs will solve that. Could they have a cutter for those hard to get screw heads?
-- rbl, Mar 13 2002

An AI developer may apply this to in-box fittings. For example: an UT robot gropes its way to a nut or fastener within a cabinet and at the point where the fastener touches the cabinet, either by internal guidance or remote guidance, spot-welds the fastener to the cabinet. The application allows for eventual disassembly of the cabinet from outside, and prevents the fasteners from falling among the cabinet contents during disassambly. I do not know if this is now done by miniature prowling robots.
-- reensure, Mar 13 2002

random, halfbakery