A friend of mine sent me a paper off a NASA site titled - Utility Fog: A Universal Physical Substance. This article is really a thought experiment about using tiny robots to create a support environment making life easier.
This is definitely not the kind of thing we’re likely to see in our lifetime, but some of the ideas described in the Utility Fog article back in 1993 will be seen -- only a few orders of magnitude larger. The concept of robot swarms is actually becoming commonplace.
Below is a 6 minute video I found on YouTube that talks about envisioning the future and what the implications of Utility Fog may be, from a scarcity and abundance perspective. Even though the sound is bad, I thought the content was great:
The microscopic support environment idea was described as early as in 1964, by Stanislaw Lem in the novel The Invincible, which is set on a planet where the ecology has been taken over by nano-bots. More recently nano-bots were the bad element in Michael Crichton's Prey.