Nanotechnology has real applications
Biomaterials, while not as exciting as the nanotech robots mentioned earlier, is another real application. Materials developed on a nanotech-scale develop different and sometimes unique physical propertise compared to the same materials but on a larger scale. Optical, electrical, magnetic, and other properties change for the better at the nano-level. Steel can become stronger, coatings can become more scratch proof, and electrical conductivity can reach greater levels in other materials, to mention just a few.
Virtual Instrumentation is providing solutions in the Nanotechnology area -- again, in the real applications, not the science fantasy world. Atomic Force Microscopes typically use LabVIEW to read the results of cantilever passing over a material. Biomaterials are developed using LabVIEW, data acquisition, and vision tools. The Semiconductor Lithography machine must be calibrated and tested to maintain accuracy in its output. These are just a few examples.
If you are working in the Nanotech world, I would like to hear from you about your real application.
Hall T. Martin