Connect with us

1000 year data storage for autonomous robotic facility

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Bernhard Kuemel, May 3, 2013.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Hi!

    I'm planning a robotic facility [3] that needs to maintain hardware
    (exchange defective parts) autonomously for up to 1000 years. One of the
    problems is to maintain firmware and operating systems for this period.
    What methods do you think are suitable?

    Top priority is it must work about 1000 years. Price is not a big issue,
    if necessary.

    I thought about this:

    ROMs/PROMs, replacing them when checksum fails.

    ROM/PROM masters, being copied once a year to flash ROM.

    1000 flash ROMs, refreshing once a year from the ones that still have a
    valid checksum.

    Non electronic masters:

    HD-Rosetta (ion beam engraved nickel disc)
    glass CD/DVD
    Paper [2]
    punched cards

    The drawback of the non electronic masters is their reader system which
    can fail mechanically/optically (dust, gears, ...) and requires
    electronic components/firmware themselves.

    Is it possible to make robots or their spare parts that suffer only
    minor degradation when kept as spare parts for 1000 years at good
    storage conditions? semiconductors, inductors, (non electrolytic)
    capacitors, circuit boards, plastic/metal structures, CCD/CMOS cameras,
    actuators, solar cells, thermo couples, etc. Batteries are probably

    Thanks, Bernhard


    something like

    A cold store to keep humans frozen (vitrified) in LN2 until mind
    uploading ( ) becomes
  2. benj

    benj Guest

    Digital data for 1000 years? Are you kidding? There is no way to keep
    digital data for 20 years let alone more.

    Lenz's law" If it rotates it sucks! (That would be Dave Lenz a guy I
    went to school with)

    All mechanical devices doomed!

    Flash Rom. I've had those fail in a month or so. Definitely not long term
    storage. Hard drives are better.

    Cd Roms. while commercial ones don't do too bad (gold) ..20 years. I've
    had recordable ones fail in just a couple years. BAD idea in addition to
    being mechanical!

    Paper tape... better than most but not very compact. Modern paper is not
    very archival though. Low acid paper needed. Same goes for punch cards
    with even lower data density and mechanical reader problems. Papyrus
    punch cards?

    Mask-programmable ROMS are a possibility. Can have cosmic ray damage if
    structure small and not redundant enough. Also other radiation damage
    (nuclear war etc.) Not read-write.

    By far best time-tested system is cuneiform clay tablets. You heard it
    here first. A gigabyte of cuneiform data makes quite a pile though!

    Only other method is the currently used one: Multiple servers with parts
    constantly manufactured and replaced. (not such a simple robotic job)
  3. benj

    benj Guest

    Right. That is because Roman walls are hermetically sealed in concrete
    and glass with a nitrogen atmosphere. No oxygen or water ever gets near
    I'd suggest places without people would be safer.

    Andro is still an idiot. (See what I mean about no people?)

    (Posting in HTML is the proof of idiocy. Say no more)
  4. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Have fun actually achieving that.
    Keep updating the media used as the most commonly used changes.

    Have fun doing that autonomously.
    You'd be better with a proper CRC instead of a checksum.
    Not sure that gets you anywhere much.
    No point in bothering with those last two.
    Yes, if you make the parts out of gold, they will last that long.

    And there are other approaches which will for stuff like gears too.
    No one really knows how they will do in 1000 years,
    we haven't had them for long enough yet.

    But if your factory can just keep making more as they
    die, you don't need them to last for 1000 years.
    The real problem with most of those is that its just
    a tad unlikely that anyone much but a collector will
    want to be using a 1000 year old designed robot
    in 1000 years. Whats been developed since then
    will leave them for dead, just like we have seen
    with cars and planes etc in only 100 years.
    Nope, not if you keep making new replacements.
    Its unlikely that there will be anything to upload once that become
  5. Wally W.

    Wally W. Guest

    The seek time may also leave something to be desired.
    juhuk likes this.
  6. Arno

    Arno Guest

    Not feasible today. Even 100 years is far, far out of reach.
    Forget it. They have a shelf-life of < 100 years and
    damage by heavy charged particles does not care whether it is on
    or off. Sockets will also live much, much shorter.
    Same as above.
    Same as above.
    The cards may keep 50-100 years, but the reader will not.
    Again, the player is the problem.
    Glass changes its shape over time. Much more slowly than
    commonly believed but will be a problem.
    Forget it. Gets very shaky at > 200 years. And any reader will not
    even last 30 years.
    Same as last, although very good mechanical readers (diamond
    bearings, all gold construcion and ceramic insulators for the
    wiring) may make it to 100 years or so.
    Same for the electonical masters.
    No. And power is an issue as well. There is no known power
    source that can last even 100 years.
    Expect increased failure at 30=50 years, unless stored yeru cold.
    Infeasible is the word you are looking for.

    Sorry, but while fun, even keeping digital data for even 100
    years without constant refreshment is basically infeasible
    today and 30 years is a pretty large challenge.

    MOD can give you 50-80 years for the media, but the drives
    only last 5-10 years. Archoival tape is not much better.
    The only real option for reliable 100 years today is
    high-quality printing on high-quality paper with non-degrading
    ink. Laser flakes off, standard ink bleaches out and may
    even eat the paper. Of course, this needs dry and cool
    storage in addition.

    At >100 years, things like degrading insulations and PCBs
    become real. Long before that. dissolving soldering joints,
    thin and zinc whiskers, etc. become a concern.

    Basically, forget it.

  7. Arno

    Arno Guest

    BS. Man cannot stay on the moon even today. A quick run there and
    back is easy if efficiency and cost is not an issue. Also completely
    unrelated and irrelevant. Far more relevant is that the design
    docs from the original moon program are gone and these rockets
    would have to be redesigned from scratch today.
    And funny how many more comparable scrolls are completely gone.
    Do you even understand what "reliably" means?
    First, the OP wants much, much more as he wants a robotic storage
    system, i.e. working mechanics and electronics! Second, I doubt that
    the OP is willing to build pyramids in dry dessert even if he said
    that cost was secondary. Keep in mind that even the pyramids were
    robbed pretty soon, only a few hundred years after being built.
    (And yes, I have seen the pyramids, Valley of the Kings, etc.)
    a.k.a. "The Clueless".

    You really have no idea what you are talking about. Look
    up the "Dunning-Kruger Effect" some time, you seem to be
    a prime victim.

  8. John Dulak

    John Dulak Guest


    That would be Arthur C. Clarke in his 1953 novel "The City and the Stars".


    '' Madness takes its toll - Please have exact change. ''

    John Dulak - 40.4888ºN,79.899ºW -
  9. Wally W.

    Wally W. Guest

    For whom?

    Who will care about *our* data in 1000 years?

    What do we know that they won't?

    If you envision a collapse of civilization in the mean time, what is
    the nature of the disruption that your facility must survive?
    Nuclear war? Asteroid?

    If civilization is in dire straights, why would they not cannibalize
    the facility for whatever technology could be scavenged?

    If you want to protect the facility from the early sufferers of the
    collapse, why do want to help their expected progeny, but not *them*?

    If the early sufferers are left to their decline, how do you know
    there will *be* future progeny to help?

    Will the character of those who survived the attrition (or
    elimination) of all others be better than those you tried to exclude
    from the facility earlier?

    Uncle Al: Conservation [including knowledge as a resource?] means
    somebody else in the future deserves to consume it; and not them,

    If it is to be found by ET, they may be unimpressed. They know how to
    travel between stars. Nothing in our 1000 year-old archive will help
    them repair their warp drive.
  10. Shadow

    Shadow Guest

    Sorry to be a spoiler, but you sound like you are off your
    meds. Or you are writing a SF book.
    Any hardware would be obsolete in 10 years time. Think back
    1000 years. Imagine making a self repairing shed to keep your
    horse-driven cart nice and ready-to go. Assuming the shed had not been
    bombed, set on fire, flooded, hit by lightning, a meteor, vandalized,
    whatever, how useful would that cart be today ?
  11. benj

    benj Guest

    Would be extremely useful. First off it's historic and of interest from
    that viewpoint. And secondly I'd point out that there are more horses
    alive and owned today than there were back when everyone used one for

    So the fact that it's "outdated" technology doesn't make it of no
    interest. Stone cave man tools are still of great interest to us though
    we don't use one to build things anymore.
  12. Shadow

    Shadow Guest

    Aha, a historian's point of view. If he wants to keep data,
    why doesn't he just microprint it , seal it up in a vacuum , and bury
    it somewhere ?
    No need for any electronics or hardware after the act.
    I'm sure people could restore that in 1000 years time, if we
    are still a species then.
  13. benj

    benj Guest

    Yes, that would be great for storing history, but the problem posed was
    slightly different. He wants to keep robot firmware alive (uncorrupted)
    for 1000 years. That of course brings a 1000 year reader into the
    picture. You just picked "man" as the 1000 year reader which is FAR less
    then a sure thing :)

    But IF one had the reader problem solved I could see where you could
    vacuum seal many copies of firmware and opening them one a year or ten
    years or something. You could cross-compare the already opened cans with
    the last opened one to run some sort of decision algorithm. Might be
    better than a single 1000 year data storage.
  14. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Some of the stuff we have that is from 1000 or more years ago
    is still interesting, if not that useful.
  15. Did you read footnote [3]. I want to be one of the frozen, scanned and
    uploaded humans.
    Ötzi is about 5000 years old. It would be very amazing for a lot of
    people to revive him. I hope the same will be true for me in 200 to 1000
    The past.
    Nuclear war, economic/ecologic collapse. If an asteroid impact obscures
    the sun too much for too long that might deplete my power/cooling
    reserves and destroy my body/mind.
    The idea is to make it in a remote location of an otherwise rather
    stable country, e.g. in an Australian desert. The cryostorage could be
    disguised as tomb and the black solar energy collecting walls could be
    disguised as tombstones. A plaque/inscription could say they died of a
    very deadly and contagious disease. Bacillus antracis can survive for
    decades in the ground as dehydrated spores, so mentioning that might
    deter some people. OTOH it might attract others, who want to use it as
    weapon. Apart from stable walls I also think about active and passive
    intruder defense systems such as high voltage discharges, high energy
    microwaves, crushing, stabbing, shooting, nitrogen asphyxiation. We
    could let some voluntarily donated human bodies and the killed intruders
    rot after the first door, outside the first trap, where there is another
    inscription telling the truth about the facility and its dangers.
    I can hardly help the sufferers while I'm in cryo stasis. Well, I could
    leave the facility open for everybody to use and take what they want,
    but then I'd most likely die.
    I trust that mankind will survive. I don't know. There is no knowledge.
    I don't understand your question. What do you mean by attrition? Can you
    rephrase your question more clearly?
    Humans are impressed by the moon, mars and roman excavations, which can
    not repair their vehicles. I think finding ETs is far more exciting than
    watching Star Trek. ETs may be different, but I don't expect to be found
    and uploaded by ETs.

  16. The cryostore could be set in a mountain with the entrance and the black
    solar energy collecting walls being on a steep flank of the mountain.
    That would require a lot of effort and equipment to break in and steal
  17. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Sure, but its not very likely to be possible.
    I doubt it with 200, or even 1000.

    They are more likely to do it with someone who has
    managed a lot more than you have, like Einstein etc.
    That's pretty well documented now. No need to try the
    very difficult to achieve uploading of someone's brain etc.
    But if it gets too bad, there may not be anyone too interested
    in uploading what is between your ears, they may well be a bit
    busy ensuring their own survival instead.

    I doubt it.
    Its very likely to be vandalised if you try that route.
    No one would buy that line with a place like Australia
    because they know you would not be allowed to have
    a tomb done like that there if it really was true.

    The remains would have been cremated in a medical
    facility instead.
    I doubt it except maybe those so stupid that they don't realise
    that it wouldn't happen like that. There are certainly plenty of
    those, but there are plenty more that wouldn't buy that claim.
    I don't believe that would happen.
    Because they would realise it's a lie.
    That's completely illegal in Australia and everywhere
    else that's even just barely politically stable too.
    That's completely illegal in Australia and everywhere
    else that's even just barely politically stable too.
    If anyone did break in and find the corpses, you can be
    sure that the word would get out very quickly indeed
    and that the authoritys would be round to work out
    who had flouted the law so comprehensively and
    they would try to work out who had done that and
    would eventually dismantle the entire affair and
    just dump your body into a public grave once no
    one claimed your corpse.

    They would certainly realise that your claim
    about the unspeakable disease was a lie and
    would be able to check if it was someone who
    had managed to do what you claimed etc.
    And the worst result if it doesn't is no worse than
    not doing anything except your heirs didn't get
    to spend what you wasted on that facility.
    There is plenty of knowledge that mankind has never even
    come close to not surviving over countless millennia now.

    Sure, we have certainly invented some stuff since then
    which might be a problem, but even nukes wouldn't
    result in no mankind at all, even if we are actually
    stupid enough to fire them all at each other.
    I don't expect any ETs to show up myself. They've had
    plenty of time to do that and presumably it isnt possible.

    Tho I spose some red indians might have run the same line
    at one time too.
  18. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    There aren't any mountains in the Australian desert.
    There are some cliff faces, but the shit will hit the fan very
    spectacularly indeed if you start hacking holes in those for
    your cryo facility.
    And a hell of a lot of effort to construct
    and to deal with the legal ramifications
    when someone notices you constructing it.

    It will be off to jail for you.

    You cant even do that even if you own the cliff face.
  19. pot

    pot Guest

    Yes, typically in museums. Apart from some buildings, but a building is
    not a tool.
    juhuk likes this.
  20. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Corse it's a tool, for living.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day