Large-scale energy and environmental challenges have the potential to be solved by machine systems. Machine systems that can mimic the behavior of living plants by making nearly complete copies of themselves using local energy and materials. Such self-replicating systems promise to revolutionize manufacturing and enable large scale renewable energy production, global environmental remediation, and ultimately, the long-term exploration of space.
The winning team will be the first to demonstrate a nonbiological, self-replicating system that has:
- A volume and weight less than that of a standard ocean-shipping container.
- Less than 5 percent of its inputs are nonreplication inputs (inputs that are not supplied by the local environment and must be added by human counterparts).
- A maximum replication time of 90 days.
- Can produce at least two generations beyond initial seed components.
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