NANOTECHNOLOGY & NANOMEDICINE PIONEER:
ROBERT A. FREITAS JR. J.D.
- NANOTECH PIONEER
ROBERT A. FREITAS JR. J.D.
Robert A. Freitas Jr. is a Senior Research Fellow, one of four researchers at the nonprofit foundation Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in Palo Alto, California. He holds a 1974 Bachelor's degree majoring in both physics and psychology from Harvey Mudd College, and a 1978 Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Santa Clara University, and has written roughly 150 technical papers, book chapters, or popular articles on a diverse set of scientific, engineering, and legal topics. In 1977-78 Robert Freitas created Sentience Quotient (SQ) as a way to describe the information processing rate in living organisms or computers. He co-edited the 1980 NASA feasibility analysis of self-replicating space factories and in 1996 authored the first detailed technical design study of a medical nanorobot ever published in a peer-reviewed mainstream biomedical journal. Most recently, Freitas is the author of Nanomedicine, the first book-length technical discussion of the potential medical applications of molecular nanotechnology and medical nanorobotics, freely available online at http://www.nanomedicine.com. Volume I was published in October 1999 by Landes Bioscience while Freitas was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) in Palo Alto, California. Freitas published Volume IIA in October 2003 with Landes Bioscience while serving as a Research Scientist at Zyvex Corp., a nanotechnology company headquartered in Richardson, Texas during 2000-2004. Also in 2004, Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle coauthored and published Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, the first complete survey of the field of physical and hypothetical self-replicating machines. In 2006, Freitas and Merkle co-founded the Nanofactory Collaboration, a research program to develop the first working diamondoid nanofactory. Freitas is now completing Nanomedicine Volumes IIB and III and is also consulting on molecular assembler design as Senior Research Fellow at IMM. He won the 2009 Feynman Prize in nanotechnology for theory, the 2007 Foresight Prize in Communication, and the 2006 Guardian Award from Lifeboat Foundation, and was awarded the first patent on diamond mechanosynthesis on 30 March 2010.
"The most important applications of machine-phase nanotechnology will be in medicine. Not only will human health, comfort, safety, and pleasure be vastly improved, but nanomedicine could dramatically extend the lifespan of the individual human being and greatly expand the possibilities of the human form. I'm trying to help lay the technical foundations for the future field of medical nanorobotics by conducting theoretical analyses of specific nanomedical systems and by writing a 4-volume technical book series that looks at all relevant issues including basic engineering capabilities, biocompatibility, systems and operations of medical nanorobots, clinical applications, and ethical issues."