Alcor Member Profile: Robert A. Freitas Jr.

Robert A. Freitas Jr.

Alcor Scholar Profile
From Cryonics 2nd Quarter 2022

By Aschwin de Wolf

More Alcor Member Profiles


Scientific reasoning and creativity are often viewed as two very different realms of reality. On the one hand, we have deductive and inductive reasoning and empirical testing, and on the other we have the “intuitive” realm of imagination. If there is one thing that sets apart the research and writings of Robert Freitas it is the magnitude of ideas that he generates. This, and perhaps a mind-blowing level of productivity that never sacrifices rigor. When working with Freitas on his seminal Cryostasis Revival book, I had the unique ability to see both his tremendous work ethic and his creativity in solving formidable challenges. The time has long been ripe to publish a scholar profile of Robert, but after his completion of a massive technical tome on how to revive cryopreserved patients, the present moment seems particularly fit.

Freitas was born in 1952 in Camden, Maine and lived his first five years in Santa Cruz, California, followed by 10 years in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, to return once more to California where he has written most of his academic work in molecular nanotechnology. His father ran various privately held agricultural operations and his mother provided a stable household, allowing Robert to realize his full potential.

Robert Freitas home lab
Rob at 15, in his last home chemistry lab.

He received his first Gilbert chemistry set at the age of seven. Chemistry turned out to be far more than a transient hobby. In fact, each new Freitas home was equipped with a small lab for him to pursue his interests. His father even facilitated the installation of a makeshift fume hood. Whereas other children occupied themselves with paperbacks, magazines, and comic books between studies, Robert brought a 1962 Concise Chemical and Technical Dictionary to middle school. This passion continued into high school, including more practical applications such as “pyrotechnics.” He also pursued cross-country running.

His fascination with the design and launch of “home-made rockets, explosives, smoke bombs, and other pyrotechnic and incendiary devices” eventually made its way to the local newspaper after he accidentally blew up the school´s chemistry lab. Freitas recalls the event as if it were yesterday:

“The local newspaper article describing the event erroneously reported that I was mixing up a batch of rocket fuel that exploded. I regarded this as an insult to my integrity as a pyrotechnician. The rocket fuel I was using was perfectly safe and could be made to explode only with great difficulty. What actually exploded was a rather large batch of Armstrong´s mixture, amped up with powdered aluminum, which served as the explosive payload for my rockets. A simple software program I wrote that balanced chemical equations predicted nonstandard proportions for the various ingredients – which novel proportions, when followed, converted the mixture from a relatively stable primary explosive into a highly sensitive contact explosive. I got distracted with thoughts of my girlfriend that day and became careless, blowing out the windows and earning myself three days in the hospital.”

Fortunately, the girlfriend still married him, four years later….

Rob at 18 with girlfriend Nancy
Rob at 18, with his girlfriend Nancy, to whom he’s now been married 48 years.

In college, Freitas switched his major from chemistry to physics because it would provide him with the most fundamental knowledge of how the universe worked. Eventually he double majored in physics and psychology. The latter choice was motivated by Asimov´s Foundation (science fiction book) series and its potential to inform the emerging discipline of “psychohistory.” When not climbing or mountain hiking with a friend, Robert completed an (unpublished) 318-page science fiction novel instead of the more traditional senior research thesis for his Physics degree.

While many might have argued in favor of a more advanced degree in physics, Freitas believed that it was not where his greatest talents lay. He wanted to be more than adequate in a chosen field, to “set the world on fire” with the work he pursued. In an effort to tease out that work, he decided to pursue something entirely different from his previous academic pursuits: he attended Santa Clara University of Law where he eventually obtained a Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

However, like physics, law was not the match that lit the fire.


“I was never interested in normal stuff: regular physics, regular law,” Robert admits. During his law school studies, his interests converged on extraterrestrial life, “weird” legal situations triggered by space travel, and even molecular nanotechnology. Some of the popular articles he published touched on subjects like the legal rights of extraterrestrials (1977, 1979), adoptive fetuses (1980), and robots (1985). It´s no surprise that his first comprehensive non-fiction exposition was then concerned with an entirely novel and quite literally alien field that he himself coined: “xenology.” Defined as the interdisciplinary study of the planetology, biology, psychology, sociology, technologies, and all other things relating to extraterrestrial life forms, it was the sole subject of a 500,000-word tome that Freitas worked on for five years. Though he was unsuccessful in finding a publisher, he privately distributed the book to researchers in the mid-1990s. It was finally published online in 2008. For such an obscure publication, it touched on several themes that would later find their way into other research and books. Retrospectively, this book might one day be considered a founding text of the field, or, more intriguingly, a practical guide on how to deal with lifeforms very different from our own.

Though it did not strike him until recently, Freitas´s evolution from boy wonder raised in an agricultural backdrop to a pioneer in extraterrestrial life and space, bears rather striking resemblance to the literary and cinematic arcs of several popular sci-fi books, movies, and series: consider Cooper, the NASA pilot turned Coloradan farmer of Interstellar, James Holden, the son of a Montana family farming cooperative in The Expanse, and Graham Hess, the former priest and farmer in Pennsylvania in Signs. It seems there is no greater inspiration towards space, than the experience of growing up with vast amounts of it—albeit covered in crops—oneself.

In the early 1980s Robert did three SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) telescope searches, which landed him three publications in Icarus, a mainstream planetary sciences journal. The optical studies were the first of their kind in the Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts (SETA), a term he originated in 1983. It should not be surprising that Freitas had no trouble finding his way into NASA, penning the first technical description of a selfreplicating interstellar probe, which earned him an invitation to join the 1980 NASA study titled Advanced Automation for Space Missions, and later to serve as study Editor. This work culminated in a pioneering chapter-length engineering study of self-replicating factories. This might have been the point where Robert finally found his life calling: the research and development of molecular nanotechnology and its applications to medicine. These interests had to academically slumber for a little bit longer while Freitas published a financial newsletter to communicate the latest results of a complex econometric model of the economy and various investment classes (at some points these topics would come together as we will soon see).

A self-identified late bloomer, his path was arguably more meandering than as the crow flies. But those who seek frequently do find. So too was the case for Freitas who recalls that pivotal moment of knowing in his professional career with great clarity: “Once I realized what nanotechnology was, it just went click. I realized, now that is something of magnitude. It´s worth spending your life on.”


Robert published his first Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) article in Analog in 1996. This was a nontechnical article on nanorobots that only briefly touched on medical applications. His first true and rigorous treatment of the idea of nanomedicine was his 1998 paper on “respirocytes,” or nanorobots designed to replace red blood cells, published in the journal Artificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Immobilization Biotechnology, it was titled “Exploratory Design in Medical Nanotechnology: A Mechanical Artificial Red Cell.” It was also the first medical nanorobotics paper ever published in a peer-reviewed mainstream medical journal, and the first nanomedicine technical paper listed in PubMed. In a shorter, accessible, exposition of the respirocyte for Nanotechnology magazine Robert writes:

The artificial respirocyte is a hollow, spherical nanomedical device 1 micron in diameter. The respirocyte is built of 18 billion precisely arranged structural atoms, and holds an additional 9 billion molecules when it is fully loaded. Each main storage tank—one for oxygen, another for carbon dioxide, and a third for ballast water—is constructed of diamondoid honeycomb or a geodesic grid skeletal framework for maximum strength.

The article (and the corresponding paper) then provides a rigorous technical analysis of the requirements and design features of the artificial red blood cell. Respirocytes can carry 236 times as much oxygen to the tissues than natural red blood cells. Artificial red blood cells also have a superior shelf life, can produce superior treatment of anemia, support hypothermic organ preservation / stabilization, and can be administered in conditions where natural oxygen levels are low. Naturally, a human being enhanced with such artificial red blood cells would be more resistant to various ischemic insults and could even produce remarkable feats of personal endurance in sports.

Before delving further into the many applications of nanomedicine that Freitas pioneered, it will be helpful to provide a rigorous definition of “nanomedicine” that distinguishes it from other medical interventions that operate at the molecular level such as gene therapy, nanoscale materials, or the use of micro-electronics in the human body. As a practical application of molecular nanotechnology, nanomedicine concerns the manipulation of matter at the atomic level to treat patients. As further worked out in detail by Freitas in his numerous publications, this usually entails the use of mechanical molecular devices to either treat a specific medical condition or to replace natural human organs, cells, or physiological function altogether. The limits of such nanomedicine are ultimately set by the laws of physics. While many of the treatments that nanomedicine can produce might also be achieved through regular biotechnology, Freitas posits that with a mature mechanical nanotechnology “the range, efficacy, comfort and speed of possible medical treatments further expands enormously.” Among the many advantages he lists in Cryostasis Revival (pp. 43-48) are the following:

  1. Speed of Treatment
  2. Control of Treatment
  3. Verification of Treatment
  4. Minimal Side Effects
  5. Faster and More Precise Diagnosis
  6. More Sensitive Response Threshold for High-Speed Action.
  7. More Reliable Operation
  8. Nonbiodegradable Treatment Agents
  9. Superior Materials
  10. No Replication

A central premise of an advanced nanomedicine is that the difference between disease and health (or even life and death) ultimately reflects the specific organization of molecules (or lack thereof). It should not be surprising then, that writers and scholars who pondered the implications of this kind of ultraprecise medicine recognized that it would profoundly change the way we think about phenomena such as aging or death. Freitas realized that the ability to heal tissue at the molecular level, in conjunction with some kind of low-temperature or chemical stabilization of people pronounced “dead” today, would allow their recovery and revival in the distant future. This idea was conceptually described by Eric Drexler in 1986 but was worked out in great detail by Freitas in his works.

Before Freitas took on the herculean task of thinking through all the conditions that are required to revive a cryopreserved human, he made several landmark contributions to the emerging field of nanomedicine including two book-length general treatments of nanomedicine (Volume I on “Basic Capabilities” and Volume IIA on “Biocompatibility”), and many dozens of technical articles, including comprehensive papers on the treatment of specific medical conditions and nearly a dozen scaling studies for different medical nanorobot designs (a complete list of Freitas´s nanotechnology papers is provided with this profile). Technical expositions of other medical nanorobot devices include the microbivore (2005—artificial white blood cell), the pharmacyte (2006—a drug delivery vehicle), and the chromallocyte (2007), which constitutes the first technical description of a molecular cell repair device, which is of obvious and fundamental importance to rejuvenation and cryonics revival efforts. This was followed by a 120-page book chapter describing how medical nanorobots could eliminate and reverse aging via “Nanomedically Engineered Negligible Senescence” (2010), then a 433-page technical book proposing how nanorobots could reverse the effects of Alzheimer´s disease (2016), and most recently the 700-page Cryostasis Revival (2022) that describes the first comprehensive conceptual protocol for revival from human cryopreservation, using medical nanorobots.

Rob at Zyvex in 2002
Rob at Zyvex in 2002. Note the nanorobotics designs behind him.

Robert´s writings are not confined to the “what could a mature nanotechnology do” genre. He has been as prolific in executing theoretical research to make MNT and molecular manufacturing an actual physical reality. In 2004 he published a comprehensive technical book on self-replicating manufacturing systems titled Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, and in 2006 he launched the Nanofactory Collaboration with Ralph Merkle, an early attempt to initiate a serious R&D effort to create the first nanofactory for atomically precise manufacturing. One major output of this effort was their “Minimal Toolset” paper, published in 2008, which provided the first theoretical quantitative systems level study of a complete suite of reaction sequences for fabricating small atomically precise objects using scanning-probe based ultrahigh-vacuum diamond mechanosynthesis—work for which Robert received the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for Theory in 2009. Freitas´s first patent, which was also the first patent ever issued on diamond mechanosynthesis, was granted in 2010. Collaborative work continued with quantum chemistry simulation papers examining the stability of various mechanosynthetic tooltips and small diamondoid structures up to about 1800 atoms in size, ideal approach trajectories and operating envelopes for mechanosynthetic tooltips, and theoretical analyses of atomically precise nanoscale computing systems.


On September 19, 2018, I sent a curious email to Robert inquiring about his interest in writing the first technical paper on “cryobots,” nanorobots that can operate at cryogenic temperatures. Intrigued, but pressed for time due to other important projects, he expressed some tentative interest. After some persistent nagging (which Freitas actually welcomed), the initial work for the paper started in March 2019 and writing commenced in August. In January 2020, the size of the “paper” had increased to 176 pages and it became increasingly clear that it was going to be a book-length exposition. A first draft of 841 pages (not a typo) was completed in March 2021. What started out as a modest technical exploration of the operation of nanorobots at ultra-low temperatures had culminated in the most comprehensive technical exposition on cryonics ever written. With support from the Alcor Life Extension Foundation and the Biomedical Research and Longevity Society, the book was released in an electronic edition and hardback format at Alcor´s 50th Anniversary event in New York City on February 23, 2022.

Cryostasis Revival: The Recovery of Cryonics Patients Through Nanomedicine is not just a handbook on how to revive cryonics patients preserved under ideal conditions. It actively engages with the cryobiology and cerebral ischemia literature to outline technical revival options for people cryopreserved after prolonged postmortem delays and/or “straight freezing” (i.e., cryopreservation without cryoprotection). In fact, the foreword of the book was penned by Gregory M. Fahy, noted cryobiologist and pioneer of the use of vitrification in complex organ preservation. One of the attractive features of the book is that it does not impose one favored revival protocol but rather examines a plethora of approaches that have been proposed by human cryopreservation proponents over the years. The work also constitutes the first technical treatment of nanomedical reversal of aldehyde cross-linking, which also makes it relevant to the emerging technology of aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation (ASC). The book concludes with no fewer than 304 research suggestions to further advance human cryopreservation revival science.

Robert first became enthralled by the concept of cryonics at the age of 14 after watching the famous Star Trek episode “Space Seed” that originally aired on February 16, 1967. In 1968 at the age of 15, Freitas wrote the first 55 pages of an unfinished science fiction novel about a teenager who volunteers to be placed in a time capsule and frozen using the new science of “cryobionics.” In the novel, the computer-controlled facility was programmed to wake the traveler every century or so, whereupon he would emerge from a hidden high-tech mountain lair and explore first-hand the progress mankind had achieved during his frozen slumber. “Why do it?” the boy was asked. “Curiosity,” he replied. “I want to see how man´s technology will grow, and how man himself will change, through the years.” Today, 54 years later, Freitas is still motivated by this same curiosity about the future but driven even more strongly by the desire to actually create that future—and most importantly, to directly experience it himself. Consequently, Robert became a whole-body member of Alcor in 2001. Asked how his personal cryonics arrangements impact his life plans or lifestyle, he answers:

“My Alcor arrangements allow me to feel free to devote my full energies to advancing medical nanotechnologies, secure in the knowledge that if the R&D doesn´t go as fast as I hope, and as a result I don´t succeed in preventing my own death due to aging or disease, using medical nanorobots, I have a backup plan (cryonics) that will still get me to the future that I crave to experience.”

He recognizes that he might be perceived as somewhat unusual by people close to him. “They accept my cryonics arrangements and are supportive, though they regard my choice (and me) as a bit strange.”


In his book Nano, Ed Regis describes a phenomenon in the early nanotechnology community that was called the “Miller point,” named after Mark Miller when he realized that a mature nanotechnology would change absolutely everything. To illustrate this point, we conclude this profile with some “strange” features but also profoundly transformative aspects of a society that has adopted MNT, pulled from Robert´s extensive work, which includes 233 published items as of March 2022.

The Fine Spirits Synthesizer

“Somewhere in the bowels of the cabinet a bartender went into action—a non-human bartender whose electronic soul mixed things not by jiggers but by atom counts, whose ratios were perfect every time, and who could not be matched by all the inspired artistry of anyone merely human.” —Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky (1950)

Picture yourself with a vintage bottle of Barolo. Held against the light, this Nebbiolo-based wine shows the classic brick color at the rim. Experience its typical tar-rose aroma with complex, fine flavors of red fruits, cedar, and white pepper. The greatest bottles of the greatest years cost a small fortune. The sheer complexity of aroma and taste and silky tannins would be hard to reproduce in a factory. Ultimately, though, as unromantic as this may sound, the greatest alcoholic beverages in the world are distinguished from others by specific concentrations of molecules. There have been several attempts by food scientists and chemists to recreate the classic alcoholic beverages based on chemical analysis of their contents. Such attempts have met with mixed reviews from connoisseurs, although the practice of artificial tinkering (synthetic coloring agents instead of the original herb that imparted the color, artificial flavors etc.) is widespread for mass-produced alcoholic beverages. However, a sufficiently mature molecular nanotechnology would be able to produce an exact molecular recipe from a small sample of the drink in question.

Enter the Freitas Fine Spirits Synthesizer, aka. “Whiskey Machine.” (‘The Whiskey Machine: Nanofactory-Based Replication of Fine Spirits and Other Alcohol-Based Beverages,´ IMM Report No. 47, 2016). The Fine Spirits Synthesizer would be a commercial appliance composed of nanomachinery parts, built by a nanofactory. The Synthesizer incorporates an Assay Unit and a Synthesis Unit. After an exact molecular analysis by the Assay Unit, basic feedstock chemicals are mechanosynthetically combined to create the specific alcoholic beverage of choice by the Synthesis Unit with exact precision, without contaminants, at low cost. This beverage can be an extremely rare vintage or a carefully calibrated new composition by a seasoned drinker. Unlike today´s “clumsy” attempts, such drinks will be flawless replicas of the original. One could imagine a point in time where, analogous to the Turing Test, such beverages will pass the, let´s call it the “Bacchus Test´´ (a blind testing of atomically synthesized alcoholic beverages and their originals) and be indistinguishable from the “real” thing as judged by Master Sommeliers and Whiskey experts.

The ability of molecular manufacturing to produce exact replicas of originals has profound consequences for culture as we know it. In principle, it will then be possible to create an exact replica of Johannes Vermeer´s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (perhaps allowing for the different isotopic structure of the atoms – which is not something that affects its visual appearance). This feature of MNT will produce a radical democratization of ownership of unique historical works.

It´s not all about top shelf booze and highbrow art either. There are other potential applications that may imbue an otherwise serious and technical subject with a sense of whimsy and fun. Freitas shares a vision of kinematic foods, inspired by the wiggling character of Jell-O, that could turn even the greatest broccoli opponent into a Brassica devotee. He says, “[The food] could walk around on their plate and lay down, or it could split in half, reassemble in a different shape. You could even conceivably talk to it, and it would hear your voice and do different things: turn red, turn blue, sprout its own legs and walk around. All kinds of crazy stuff that you can imagine.” The best part? Parents rejoice! All that and it´s still edible.

Tangible Nanomoney

On his website, economist and cryonics advocate Robin Hanson discusses an unfilled niche in economics which he calls the “economics of science fiction” or “economics of future technology.” Another modern phrase would be “Singularity economics.” Hanson describes the economics of science fiction as the:

“economic analysis of the sorts of assumptions typically explored in science fiction. It is distinguished from the typical hard science fiction analysis by using the tools of professional economics, rather than the intuitive social science of the typical engineer. And it is distinguished from most economics by taking seriously the idea that we can now envision the outlines of new technologies which may have dramatic impacts on our society.”

Tangible forms of money may be greatly affected by advanced molecular technologies because it will enable individuals or organizations to duplicate money at low cost. As Freitas notes in his paper “Tangible Nanomoney,” (2000) “any form of physical currency whose value depends solely upon the physical arrangement of common atoms” will fail to meet the traditional criteria that a physical currency needs to satisfy, such as possessing intrinsic value and immunity to counterfeiting. Although counterfeiting of money could remain illegal, the costs of enforcing this may be excessively high. As economist Tyler Cowen observes, “In the very long run, our monetary standard might be determined by what is least susceptible to counterfeiting or alchemy/nanotechnology.”

As Freitas notes, a future currency “should be self-validating by its own physical form, and not rely upon any legalistic governmental imprimatur, easily altered surface stamping, or monopoly minting authority to partake of value (e.g., no “fiat” specie).” The most obvious alternative for a governmentcontrolled fiat currency is a commodity-based currency. For such a commodity to be used as money it should be homogeneous, easy to subdivide, and have a high value to weight ratio. The most obvious candidate for such a currency is gold. In his paper, Robert Freitas further discusses ideal candidates for tangible nanomoney such as the superheavy elements (SHE), which could become a part of a new standard, if not part of the physical money itself in case the standard for such a currency and the currency itself would coincide. He also considers land to be a relatively safe investment in the nanofuture. In conversation, he notes that “while you can make more of it, it´s not easy to do… because it´s huge. You have to move a lot of volume.” Clearly, a mature nanotechnology will have effects on both the standard for future money as well as the physical forms of payment that are used in daily economic life.

Atmospheric Carbon Capture and Green Computing

The (hypothesized) potential catastrophic effects of molecular nanotechnology (i.e., the grey goo problem, MNT-enabled weapons) have received substantial discussion. Less recognized is MNT´s potential to make substantial, superior contributions to global problems such as pollution. As a more energy-efficient and precise technology, MNT can significantly reduce harm to the environment, even given the same (or even increasing) production. One application of MNT that could be a real “game changer” is its ability to substantially mitigate climate change. In his 2015 paper “The Nanofactory Solution to Global Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Capture” (IMM Report No. 45) Robert presents “a molecular manufacturing-based air-scrubbing system called a CO2 capture plant that is potentially capable of active continuous management of the concentrations of relevant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The purpose of a global network of these plants is to maintain the specified greenhouse gas constituents at programmed concentrations that are regarded as ideal for human health, proper ecological maintenance, and human esthetics.” Such systems of “molecular filters” or “nano filters” would be significantly more energy-efficient and cheaper than today´s 1st generation carbon capture technologies. Detailed proposals for sequestration and storage of CO2 are proposed but the author also speculates that the “Extracted and sequestered carbon may become a valuable resource in future decades, providing a compact cheap source of carbon to be used as a key building material in the fabrication of diamond-based consumer, commercial, and industrial products that can be manufactured in a worldwide nanofactory-based economy.”

Today´s microprocessors are almost at a point where circuits cannot get much smaller in size, which puts some hard limits on processing speeds. One potential way forward is through molecular nanotechnology. MNT makes possible a type of mechanical computer that could be 100 billion times more energy efficient than today´s green supercomputers. In a paper co-authored with his frequent collaborator Ralph Merkle and others (“Mechanical Computing Systems Using Only Links and Rotary Joints”, Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 2018) a new model for mechanical computing is presented that requires only two basic parts, links and rotary joints, “to create all necessary combinatorial and sequential logic required for a Turing-complete computational system.”

From his initial dabbling in pyrotechnics, to his first detailed exposition of the field of xenology, to his pioneering theoretical work in molecular nanotechnology and its medical applications, culminating in novel solutions for precise manufacturing, computing, and even climate change, Robert Freitas has been a formidable force of technical rigor and creativity, whose influence will only be growing in the decades to come. The longevity community is grateful for his immense contributions to life extension and cryostasis research.

Rob at Singularity University in 2011
Rob smiling at Singularity University in 2011.

Nanomedicine, Nanorobotics, Nanofactories, Molecular Assemblers and Machine-Phase Nanotechnology Publications of Robert A. Freitas Jr.

A detailed up-to-date list with links to online abstracts, papers, books, and translations can be found here: https://www.rfreitas.


  1. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Cryostasis Revival, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Scottsdale AZ, 2022.
  2. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume III: Applications, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX. In preparation.
  3. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume IIB: Systems and Operations, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX. In preparation.
  4. Robert A. Freitas Jr., J. Storrs Hall, Fundamentals of Nanomechanical Engineering, preparation on hold.
  5. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, Diamond Surfaces and Diamond Mechanosynthesis. In preparation.
  6. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 2004.
  7. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume IIA: Biocompatibility, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 2003.
  8. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999.
  9. Robert A. Freitas Jr., William P. Gilbreath, eds., Advanced Automation for Space Missions, NASA Conference Publication CP-2255 (N83- 15348), U.S. GPO, Washington, DC, 1982.

Peer-Reviewed Papers, Patents, and Conference Publications

  1. Colin Weatherbee, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanoscale Robot Navigation of the Human Kidney,” in preparation.
  2. Nuno R. B. Martins, Amara Angelica, Krishnan Chakravarthy, Yuriy Svidinenko, Frank J. Boehm, Ioan Opris, Mikhail A. Lebedev, Melanie Swan, Steven A. Garan, Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, Tad Hogg, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Human Brain/Cloud Interface,” Front. Neurosci., 29 March 2019.
  3. Ralph C. Merkle, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Tad Hogg, Thomas E. Moore, Matthew S. Moses, James Ryley, “Mechanical Computing Systems Using Only Links and Rotary Joints,” Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 2018;10(6):061006.
  4. Nuno R. B. Martins, Wolfram Erlhagen, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Human Connectome Mapping and Monitoring Using Neuronanorobots,” J. Evol. Technol. 26(January 2016):1-25.
  5. Ralph C. Merkle, Robert A. Freitas Jr., James Ryley, Matthew Moses, Tad Hogg, “Mechanical Computing Systems,” USPTO and international PCT patent filing, 31 December 2015.
  6. Nuno R. B. Martins, Wolfram Erlhagen, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Action Potential Monitoring Using Neuronanorobots: Neuroelectric Nanosensors,” Intl. J. Nanomaterials and Nanostructures 1(June 2015):20-41.
  7. Denis Tarasov, Ekaterina Izotova, Diana Alisheva, Natalia Akberova, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Optimal Approach Trajectories for a Hydrogen Donation Tool in Positionally Controlled Diamond Mechanosynthesis,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 10(September 2013):1899-1907.
  8. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chapter 6. Diamondoid Nanorobotics,” in Constantinos Mavroidis, Antoine Ferreira, eds., NanoRobotics: Current Approaches and Techniques, Springer, New York, 2013.
  9. Nuno R. B. Martins, Wolfram Erlhagen, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Non-destructive whole-brain monitoring using nanorobots: Neural electrical data rate requirements,” Intl. J. Machine Consciousness 4(June 2012):109-140.
  10. Tad Hogg, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Acoustic Communication for Medical Nanorobots,” Nano Communication Networks 3(June 2012):83-102.
  11. Denis Tarasov, Ekaterina Izotova, Diana Alisheva, Natalia Akberova, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Structural Stability of Clean and Passivated Nanodiamonds having Ledge, Step, or Corner Features,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 9(January 2012):144-158.
  12. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chapter 11. Diamondoid Mechanosynthesis for Tip-Based Nanofabrication,” in Ampere Tseng, ed., Tip-Based Nanofabrication: Fundamentals and Applications, Springer, New York, 2011, pp. 387-400.
  13. Damian G. Allis, Brian Helfrich, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, “Analysis of Diamondoid Mechanosynthesis Tooltip Pathologies Generated via a Distributed Computing Approach,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 8(July 2011):1139-1161.
  14. Denis Tarasov, Ekaterina Izotova, Diana Alisheva, Natalia Akberova, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Structural Stability of Clean, Passivated, and Partially Dehydrogenated Cuboid and Octahedral Nanodiamonds up to 2 Nanometers in Size,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 8(February 2011):147-167.
  15. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chapter 23. Comprehensive Nanorobotic Control of Human Morbidity and Aging,” in Gregory M. Fahy, Michael D. West, L. Stephen Coles, and Steven B. Harris, eds, The Future of Aging: Pathways to Human Life Extension, Springer, New York, 2010, pp. 685-805.
  16. Tad Hogg, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chemical Power for Microscopic Robots in Capillaries,” Nanomedicine: Nanotech. Biol. Med. 6(April 2010):298-317.
  17. 17. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “A Simple Tool for Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis, and its Method of Manufacture,” U.S. Patent No. 7,687,146, issued 30 March 2010.
  18. Denis Tarasov, Natalia Akberova, Ekaterina Izotova, Diana Alisheva, Maksim Astafiev, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Optimal Tooltip Trajectories in a Hydrogen Abstraction Tool Recharge Reaction Sequence for Positionally Controlled Diamond Mechanosynthesis,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 7(February 2010):325-353.
  19. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Welcome to the Future of Medicine,” Studies in Health Technol. Inform. 149(2009):251-256.
  20. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Medical Nanorobotics: The Long-Term Goal for Nanomedicine,” in Mark J. Schulz, Vesselin N. Shanov, eds., Nanomedicine Design of Particles, Sensors, Motors, Implants, Robots, and Devices, Artech House, Norwood MA, 2009, Chapter 14, pp. 367-392.
  21. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chapter 15. Computational Tasks in Medical Nanorobotics,” in M.M. Eshaghian- Wilner, ed., Bio-inspired and Nano-scale Integrated Computing, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2009, pp. 391-428.
  22. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Meeting the Challenge of Building Diamondoid Medical Nanorobots,” Intl. J. Robotics Res. 28(April 2009):548-557. (DOI: 10.1177/0278364908100501).
  23. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, “A Minimal Toolset for Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 5(May 2008):760-861.
  24. Adriano Cavalcanti, Bijan Shirinzadeh, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Tad Hogg, “Nanorobot Architecture for Medical Target Identification,” Nanotechnology 19(January 2008):015103.
  25. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Medical Nanorobotics: Breaking the Trance of Futility in Life Extension Research,” Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 1(December 2007), article 6.
  26. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, “Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis: Toolset, Reactions, Uses and Products,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/970,658, filed 7 September 2007.
  27. Berhane Temelso, C. David Sherrill, Ralph C. Merkle, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Ab Initio Thermochemistry of the Hydrogenation of Hydrocarbon Radicals Using Silicon, Germanium, Tin and Lead Substituted Methane and Isobutane,” J. Phys. Chem. A 111(15 August 2007):8677-8688.
  28. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “The Ideal Gene Delivery Vector: Chromallocytes, Cell Repair Nanorobots for Chromosome Replacement Therapy,” J. Evol. Technol. 16(June 2007):1-97.
  29. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Damian G. Allis, Ralph C. Merkle, “Horizontal Ge-Substituted Polymantane-Based C2 Dimer Placement Tooltip Motifs for Diamond Mechanosynthesis,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 4(May 2007):433-442.
  30. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chapter 13. Progress in Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobotics,” in Michael Rieth, Wolfram Schommers, eds., Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology, Volume 6 (Bioinformatics, Nanomedicine, and Drug Design), American Scientific Publishers, Stevenson Ranch, CA, 2006, pp. 619-672.
  31. Berhane Temelso, C. David Sherrill, Ralph C. Merkle, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “High-level Ab Initio Studies of Hydrogen Abstraction from Prototype Hydrocarbon Systems,” J. Phys. Chem. A 110 (28 September 2006):11160-11173.
  32. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Pharmacytes: An Ideal Vehicle for Targeted Drug Delivery,” J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 6(September/October 2006):2769- 2775.
  33. Jingping Peng, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, James R. Von Ehr, John N. Randall, George D. Skidmore, “Theoretical Analysis of Diamond Mechanosynthesis. Part III. Positional C2 Deposition on Diamond C(110) Surface using Si/Ge/Sn-based Dimer Placement Tools,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 3(February 2006):28-41.
  34. Adriano Cavalcanti, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Luiz C. Kretly, “Nanorobotics Control Design: A Practical Approach Tutorial,” Robotics Today (SME Society of Manufacturing Engineers) 18(4th Quarter, 2005):1-22.
  35. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine and Nanosurgery (Invited Editorial),” Intl. J. Surgery 3(December 2005):1-4.
  36. Adriano Cavalcanti, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanorobotics control design: A collective behavior approach for medicine,” IEEE Trans. NanoBioSci. 4(June 2005):133-140.
  37. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “What is Nanomedicine?” Disease-A-Month 51(June 2005):325-341.
  38. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Microbivores: Artificial Mechanical Phagocytes using Digest and Discharge Protocol,” J. Evol. Technol. 14(April 2005):55-106.
  39. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “What is Nanomedicine?” Nanomedicine: Nanotech. Biol. Med. 1(March 2005):2-9.
  40. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Current Status of Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobotics (Invited Survey),” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 2(March 2005):1-25.
  41. Adriano Cavalcanti, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Luiz C. Kretly, “Nanorobotics control design: A practical approach tutorial,” Paper No. DETC2004-57031, 28th Biennial Mechanisms and Robotics Conference — MECH-3: Robotics: Applications, ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences (DETC2004), Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 28 September – 2 October 2004.
  42. David J. Mann, Jingping Peng, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, “Theoretical Analysis of Diamond Mechanosynthesis. Part II. C2 Mediated Growth of Diamond C(110) Surface via Si/Ge-Triadamantane Dimer Placement Tools,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 1(March 2004):71-80.
  43. Jingping Peng, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle, “Theoretical Analysis of Diamond Mechanosynthesis. Part I. Stability of C2 Mediated Growth of Nanocrystalline Diamond C(110) Surface,” J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 1(March 2004):62-70.
  44. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “A Simple Tool for Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis, and its Method of Manufacture,” U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/543,802, filed 11 February 2004; U.S. Patent Pending, 11 February 2005.
  45. Ralph C. Merkle, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Theoretical analysis of a carbon-carbon dimer placement tool for diamond mechanosynthesis,” J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 3(August 2003):319-324.
  46. Adriano Cavalcanti, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanosystem Design with Dynamic Collision Detection for Autonomous Nanorobot Motion Control using Neural Networks,” Computer Graphics and Geometry, MEPhI 5(May 2003):50-74.
  47. Adriano Cavalcanti, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanosystem design with dynamic collision detection for autonomous nanorobot motion control using neural networks,” Plenary Lecture, Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH – Graphicon Intl. Conf. on Computer Graphics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (http://www., September 2002, pp. 75-80.
  48. Adriano Cavalcanti, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Collective robotics coherent behavior for nanosystems with sensor-based neural motion,” Proc. IEEE Intl. Conf. on Artificial Intelligence Systems (AIS’02), Divnomorskoe/Gelendzhick, Russia (http://icai.tsure. ru/), IEEE Computer Society Press, September 2002, pp.185-190.
  49. Adriano Cavalcanti, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Autonomous multi-robot sensor-based cooperation for nanomedicine,” Intl. J. Nonlinear Sciences and Numerical Simulation 3(2002):743-746 (Special Issue, Proceedings of the International Conference on Micro & Nano Systems 2002 (ICMNS 2002) August 11 – 14, 2002, Kunming, China).
  50. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “The future of nanofabrication and molecular scale devices in nanomedicine,” Studies in Health Technol. Inform. 80(2002):45-59. Also cited as: Robert A. Freitas Jr., “The Future of Nanofabrication and Molecular Scale Devices in Nanomedicine,” in Renata G. Bushko, ed., Future of Health Technology, IOS Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2002, pp. 45-59.
  51. Robert A. Freitas Jr., Christopher J. Phoenix, “Vasculoid: A personal nanomedical appliance to replace human blood,” J. Evol. Technol. 11(April 2002):1-139.
  52. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanodentistry,” J. Amer. Dent. Assoc. 131(November 2000):1559-1566 (cover story).
  53. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Respirocytes in Nanomedicine,” Graft: Organ and Cell Transplantation 52(May 2050):148-154 (Special “Future Issue,” published May 2000; cover story).
  54. Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Exploratory Design in Medical Nanotechnology: A Mechanical Artificial Red Cell,” Artificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Immobil. Biotech. 26(1998):411-430. (The original “respirocytes” technical paper.)

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