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Robert Freitas

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Template:Pp-semi-protect Template:Context Robert A. Freitas Jr. is a Senior Research Fellow, one of four researchers at the nonprofit foundation Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) 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. He has written more than 150 technical papers, book chapters, or popular articles on a diverse set of scientific, engineering, and legal topics. He co-edited the 1980 NASA feasibility analysis of self-replicating space factories and later authored the first detailed technical design study of a hypothetical medical nanorobot ever published in a refereed medical journal.

In 1977-78 Robert Freitas created the concept Sentience Quotient (SQ) as a way to describe the information processing rate in living organisms or computers (For a discussion see "Xenopsychology" linked below, first published in the April 1984 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine).

Freitas is authoring Nanomedicine, the first multiple-book-length technical discussion of the potential medical applications of hypothetical molecular nanotechnology and hypothetical medical nanorobotics. Volume I was published in October 1999 by Landes Bioscience while Freitas was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing . He 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. Freitas is now completing Nanomedicine Volumes IIB and III and is consulting on hypothetical diamond mechanosynthesis and hypothetical molecular assembler design at IMM.

Also in 2004, Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle coauthored and published Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, the first survey of the field of physical and hypothetical self-replicating machines ever published. The book is available online in HTML format. In 2006, Freitas and Merkle co-founded the Nanofactory Collaboration, a research program to develop the first diamondoid nanofactory.

In 2006, Freitas was awarded Lifeboat Foundation's Guardian Award, and he received the 2007 Foresight Prize in Communication from the Foresight Nanotech Institute.

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