a phoenix is reborn
The Nanite Systems Corporation was founded on February 19, 1982, following the foreclosure of the University of Michigan's Advanced Dynamics Research Group by the United States Banking Consortium in April 1981. In the liquidation process, USBC discovered that the ADRG was mismanaged, and pursued many unprofitable areas of research beyond its core function as an arms development company. A team of analysts determined that ADRG was salvageable and would be in the black within four years, provided the firm's artificial intelligence pursuits went on the back burner.
early market successes
Throughout the early 1980s, Nanite Systems turned heads and made headlines in numerous military-industrial trade journals with its solid lineup of articulated control systems, autonomous vehicles, and combat drones. The 1985 release of the NS-112 Aide, including the first sophisticated expert-system-based battlefield AI, was widely hailed as the company's first truly great achievement. Although completely obsoleted within a couple of years, the Aide's success in the trenches and in urban combat as a field medic quickly led to interest from the civilian sector, and by 1987 the Field Robotics Group (FRG) was producing Aide units for a wide range of healthcare and service industries, enabling the automation of jobs previously regarded as far beyond the reach of robotics. NS was ideally positioned to take advantage of the newly-invented Thorne drive and its promises of faster-than-light (FTL) travel as America and other nations raced to colonize the outer reaches of our solar system and beyond.
As the first wave of colonial settlement disputes began to resolve themselves, the company saw a downturn in weapons sales, but promising opportunities to utilize its existing logistics infrastructure in delivering more products to civilians. The Nanite Systems Consumer Products Division (NSCP) was founded in the Fall of 1986, initially offering only basic supplies and equipment to remote and war-torn locales with little other support, which proved to be highly lucrative. NSCP quickly branched out, attracting luminaries from across the company such as Dr. Koichi Santei, head of cybernetics research at the ADRG and manager of the Battlefield Systems Division's Tactical Planning Algorithms Group. Dr. Santei assembled a team of experts into the new Recreational Cybernetics Group. He was confident he could develop something truly revolutionary.
First unveiled at the 1989 CES, the SXD recreational gynoid was envisioned as more than a sophisticated adult entertainment product: the Santei–Voet–Shortliffe neural network architecture was the most authentic and complete model of the human mind ever simulated in a machine. Koichi foresaw it as potentially underpinning a whole generation of robotic colonists and servants who would ready new worlds for humankind and eventually even live alongside them. The SXD rapidly accrued awards and accolades from the industry, but faced considerable technical challenges and adversity from a public that wasn't yet ready to accept what he and his colleagues set out to achieve societally.
NSCP posted record losses in 1992 following a widespread recall of the SXD. Other product lines continued to support the division throughout the mid-90s, but with gradually declining sales and a loss of talent to other organizational units within the greater company, it was clear that continuing to operate NSCP as a separate corporation was undesirable. The division stopped trading independently in May of 1994, and was completely disassembled in September 1997, with the remaining staff returning to other areas of the company.
The closure of NSCP demanded restructuring—so did the fall of the Soviet Union, which had to that point been the primary motivation of NS's sales to off-world colonies faced with competition from their Soviet counterparts. Never before had a focus on peace-time markets been so important to the company. Most of the company's growth during the 90s was indeed to be found in other aspects of the civilian market, but not through the NSCP focus on consumer convenience: primarily this occurred through business-to-business and business-to-government sales, as the Facilities Services Division (FSD), Medical Division (NSMD), and Nanocom, the company's communications division, took flight. The most profitable of these was NSMD, which sought to capitalize in the recent boon in medical research brought by the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 1992.
The story of the Medical Division is really twofold: first, as challenges in biology and genetic engineering rose to the forefront of visibility in academia, the Medical Division saw immense growth in laboratory equipment and diagnostic tests. This in turn provided adequate operational overhead to permit investment in other medical areas, most prominently prosthetics. Leveraging the company's collective experience in cybernetics and robotics, the company competed fiercely in the market of replacement limbs for military amputees, immensely improving the quality of millions of lives on hundreds of worlds.
peace of mind behind the lines
The Nanite Systems Security Division (NSSD), commonly known as NanoSec, can trace its origins to the company's original internal security department (NSISD). In the late 1980s, a number of colonies with substantial investment in NS products and infrastructure began contracting with the company to provide security for various governmental and high-vulnerability offices. The board chair at the time, Joseph Connery Sr., saw a tremendous opportunity for expansion and capitalized on it, building on NS's military-grade brand to provide excellent service to the civilian market. After the restructuring, demand for physical plant security services ballooned, and today, consultants from NanoSec can be found operating on hundreds of worlds, protecting everything from national security to the business intelligence advantages of our corporate partners.
keeping the lights on
At the turn of the millennium, population growth had reached an apex on many colonies. Coupled with the ever-looming threat of instability in inner worlds, especially ongoing conflicts on Earth, developing new sources of power to maintain the galactic economy became a critical priority for many companies. Nanite Systems addressed this issue by investing heavily in fundamental research projects relating to various cold fusion methods, including sonofusion, which finally became a viable technology in part due to our funding in 2002, as well as supporting and intervening in outlying colonies with mismanaged infrastructures, including the Soviet-era Russian colony of Eisa, in the Algea system, starting in 2005.
earning the name
Many find it surprising that the name "Nanite Systems" predates the availability of nanotechology by so many years. The company's founders steadfastly believed, however, that nanomachinery represented a clear market winner for their advanced artificial intelligence technology, and so chose the company's name as a promise that, when the technology was ready, the company would so totally dominate the market that, to a latecomer, it would appear to be a generic brand. This finally came to pass in 2006, when NS researchers at the Apex Center campus in New York perfected the NanoFab/1, the first nanite-based 3D printer to not require a printing head. Since then, NS nanotechnology has been applied in a variety of applications, including resource reclamation, medicine, and mediation of simulated biocatalysis for power generation.
By 2014, culture had changed quite a lot since when NS was first being founded. The Information Age and the Space Age had, together, transformed life on Earth and many other worlds in ways previously unimaginable. This finally made possible an integration of the company's strengths into one focus: a new generation of robots, serving a wide range of civilian and military applications and backed by the fruits of more than two decades of new developments. It is the company's vision that, eventually, this technology will improve and even revolutionize the lives of every single person in the galaxy.