At this point both Petra and Jacob blushed crimson red and were in a highly uncomfortable state with all the bathtub activity description, but maintained control over their facial features. Su Lin giggled a little before returning to the intended topic.
With a renewed seriousness Su Lin continued, “The bath salts, the tub agitation, and some small aluminum shards were all behaving as if being affected by a small electrical current. Then it hit me that an electrical soup of the proper chemicals could be used to allow the NCTs to connect and communicate with one another. Once I got the electrical soup chemical composition correct, the NCT could exchange information but only at a limited rate and only for so long. The next step was to map the electrical soup to blood in the pig’s circulatory system to build the final environment.
“Programming the NCT was the easy part, but NCTs won’t hold all the information I needed on one chip. I needed a population of chips to bring all the NCT code into the host and then output the desired information on the animal. Based on the volume size of the code that was required to monitor all the high value organs of the animal, the distributed location of the internal organs targeted for monitoring, and periodic damage or loss of NCT’s once inside the animal, I calculated that I would need two to the twelfth power chips or about four thousand, ninety six units to be effective.
“Apologies for the excessive vanity of my next statement, but I’m rather proud of the very tight and Spartan code that needed to be developed to accommodate the next phase of the research. The software coding for this project is called Polymorphic Operational Programing of Technology to Aggregate Recurring Temporal Synergies or POPTARTs if you like.
The basic premise here is that since no one chip can have all the code, each chip needs to be capable of becoming a required chip in the event one malfunctions or is lost. The number of chips is enough to allow for these adaptive replacements to occur, but not so many as to be a threat to proper circulatory functioning. Each chip gets base code and has the ability to fill in where functionality is required. Which means that the adaptive code that each one can assume must be no larger than the available space left on the chip. Once the chips are inserted into the circulatory system of the animal, pods of chips take up residence near the desired organ for monitoring of its output, reactions, etc.”
Jacob then asked, “So these chips break themselves down by organs, but how do they know which organs? That suggests that there are leader NCTs, and they anchor themselves in pods near the target organ. Then I would expect them to recruit follower drone NCT for the hive they need to construct. Is that how that works?”
Su Lin smiled and allowed, “You grasp quickly the concept. I now understand why Otto sent you two.
“Each of the hives established in and around each organ can then capture data and transmit it, but only with a very short range. I have toyed with the idea of turning the information into chemical messages that could then be routed out through the normal means of waste elimination, but if I can get the signals out electrically then that would be faster time to useable results.
“My next round of research will focus on the enzymes and chemical output of the brain. For now, just keeping tabs on the regular internal organs is enough to work on and evaluate.”
Petra queried, “How are the signals of such short range captured and then evaluated? Are you back to wearable technology for this activity?”
Su Lin explained, “I want to leverage Near Field Communications or NFC to pick up those signals, and if they could be amplified then I could use just one collection point for an entire herd or pen of animals. But, yes, something wearable like a light jacket or watch-like appliance or even a pair of glasses could do the trick. As you can see, this is still a work in progress and not all of the possibilities have been explored.
“I believe the NFC technology can be used not only for capturing and transmitting signals but also delivering needed power to the NCTs so they do not have to draw power from the host. I am not completely happy with this generation of NCT and have asked the manufacturer to modify their next generation of chip design to accommodate my needs. I suspect that they will continue to build for more profitable markets, like the ones dealing with the military, you mentioned earlier.”
Jacob looked thoughtful, then commented, “For some reason I can’t see a pig wearing a watch or glasses to round out your technical offering, Professor.”
Su Lin agreed, “No, I can’t either. The last time I tried to get Franklin to wear a jacket for the trials he kept trying to pull it off. We have had limited success with him keeping it on. If I give him the proper auditory motivation, it stops him from pulling the jacket off.”
Very interested, Petra asked, “What’s the motivation you offer him, Su Lin?”
Su Lin grinned and qualified, “I yell BACON and he promptly stops. As I said, the proper motivation. So far the few others in the herd have not been as trainable as Franklin, so that too becomes a factor in wide range use.”
Jacob reassured, “Thank you very much for the overview. The offer stands that as your project moves forward, either of us will be happy to work through issues with you. We can offer programming and encryption algorithm expertise, which might be helpful at some juncture. And, yes, we will see to Franklin and Daisy with enough resources for your protection as well. But I have to ask a question here. Do you have to yell BACON at Daisy to motivate her as well?”
Su Lin laughed, then added, “I can see why Otto sent you two. You’re silly.”
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