I need some help in understanding how self replicating machines make sense. I'm very interested in Dyson's idea of the astrochicken and self replicating space probes along with molecular nanotechnology but I'm still having a hard time grasping how this work. Would a self replicating space probe only make a copy of itself and nothing else or what? And why? Also universal assemblers, how does this work? Like the molecular assemblers in The Diamond Age, how does this work? Is there a computer network that tells all the nanoassemblers what to do or are they themselves intelligent?