A fully autonomous self-replicating robot assembly system capable of both assembling larger structures, including larger robots, and planning the best construction sequence is still years away, Gershenfeld says. “When we’re building these structures, you have to build in intelligence,” Gershenfeld says. An even bigger structure might require yet another such step, with the new larger robots creating yet larger ones, while parts of a structure that include lots of fine detail may require more of the smallest robots. There are thousands of papers published on route-planning for robots, Gershenfeld says. Again, the potential for such structures to instead be assembled by swarms of tiny robots could provide benefits.