I love nanobots.
Nanobots are microscopic robots that can do anything from curing disease to treating injuries or providing energy to weapons. There’s just one minor problem with nanobots . . . .
They don’t exist in the real world.
But they are a staple in science fiction. Have an insurmountable problem? Write how nanaobots resolved it—it’s the best Deus ex machina* tool ever. For example:
Powerful, evil dudes attack good people, who are powerless to resist.
Nanobots are released that change the mental and emotional state of the bad guys. Soon, everybody sings Kumbaya.
However, there may be technology on the horizon that provides the benefits of nanobots using existing materials. The first, albeit tiny, steps are being taken in utilizing a virus to edit genes in a patient by using the CRISPR technique. It’s not as sexy as the nanobots in a John Scalzi novel, but this is real world technology, which is rarely sexy.
Will it work, or like so many other ideas, fail to execute as imagined.
* Deus ex machina (/ˌdeɪəs ɛks ˈmækɪnə, – ˈmɑːk-/ DAY-əs ex-MA(H)K-in-ə, Latin: [ˈdɛ.ʊs ɛks ˈmaːkʰɪnaː]; plural: dei ex machina; English ‘god from the machine’) is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem in a story is suddenly and abruptly resolved by an unexpected and unlikely occurrence. Its function can be to resolve an otherwise irresolvable plot situation, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or act as a comedic device.