Smartdust


Smartdust

Smartdust is the term used to describe a network of tiny wireless microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, robots, or devices, installed with wireless communications, that can detect (for example) light, temperature, or vibration.

Design and engineering

The devices, or "motes," will eventually be the size of a grain of sand, or even a dust particle. Each mote having self-contained sensing, computation, communication and power.

When clustered together, these motes automatically create highly flexible, low-power networks with applications ranging from climate control systems to entertainment devices that interact with information appliances.

The smartdust concept was introduced by Kristofer S. J. Pister (University of California) in 2001 [ [http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/warneke01smart.html "Smart Dust: Communicating with a Cubic-Millimeter" Brett Warneke, Matt Last, Brian Liebowitz, and Kristofer S.J. Pister, Computer, vol. 34, pp. 44-51, 2001] ] , though the same ideas existed in science fiction before then (The Invincible, 1964). A recent review [ [http://pubs.rsc.org/ej/CC/2005/b417554a.pdf "Smart dust: nanostructured devices in a grain of sand", Michael J. Sailor and Jamie R. Link, Chemical Communications, vol. 11, p. 1375, 2005] ] discusses various techniques to take smartdust in sensor networks beyond millimeter dimensions to the micrometre level.

Some attribute the concepts behind smart dust to a project at PARC called Smart Matter [http://www2.parc.com/spl/projects/smart-matter/]

Smartdust devices will be based on sub-voltage and deep-sub-voltage nanoelectronics and include the micro power sources with all solid state impulse supercapacitors (nanoionic supercapacitors).

The recent development of nanoradios may be employed in the implementation of smartdust as a usable technology.cite journal
first = Kevin
last = Bullis
authorlink = Kevin Bullis
title = TR10: NanoRadio
journal = Technology Review
publisher = MIT Technology Review, Inc
location = Cambridge
date = 2008-02-25
url = http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=20244
accessdate = 2008-02-27
]

Applications

A typical application scenario is scattering a hundred of these sensors around a building or around a hospital to monitor temperature or humidity, track patient movements, or inform of disasters, such as earthquakes. In the military, they can perform as a remote sensor chip to track enemy movements, detect poisonous gas or radioactivity. The ease and low cost of such applications have raised privacy concerns, primarily in science fiction stories, such as Prey by Michael Crichton.

New ways for power supply

For ubiquitous computing and the generation of tiny objects that communicate with each other, new approaches for power supplying are currently being tested. These are power supplies generated from the world of living organisms, microcombustion engines, nuclear batteries and other devices that are very different from traditional batteries. Scientists are currently carrying out experiments on solutions capable of supplying micro- and, in the future, nano-objects with energy that stems from living organisms, such as energy taken from spinach, sugar, slugs or flies. These new sources of energy use ATP molecules (Adenosine TriPhosphate) which store phosphates of high energy in order to store energy just like in the muscles of living organisms [cite book |last = Waldner |first = Jean-Baptiste |authorlink = Jean-Baptiste Waldner |title = Nanocomputers and Swarm Intelligence |publisher = ISTE John Wiley & Sons |place = London |date = 2008 | pages = p154 |isbn = 1847040020] .

Other ways are also explored like nuclear-powered microbatteries for use in MEMS devices. Current research involves the incorporation of radioactive isotopes into such devices and production of electricity using thermoelectric phenomena.

Implementations

* UC Berkeley [http://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~pister/SmartDust/ Smart Dust project] headed by Prof Pister
* Dust Networks a Silicon Valley-based company commercializing the work done at Berkeley
* [http://www.archrock.com/ Arch Rock] , a company involved in implementing Wireless Sensor Networks

See also

* Nanotechnology
* TinyOS
* Localizer (fictional device)
* Mesh networking
* Wireless Sensor Network
* Utility fog

External links and references


* [http://computer.howstuffworks.com/mote1.htm How stuff works: motes]
* [http://www.tinyos.net Open source mote designs and TinyOS operating system from UC Berkeley]
* [http://www-bsac.eecs.berkeley.edu/archive/users/warneke-brett/SmartDust/index.html UC Berkeley Smart Dust Project]
* [http://chem-faculty.ucsd.edu/sailor/research/smartdust.html Sailor research group at UCSD]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/10/science/earth/10wire.html? Web of Sensors] "In the wilds of the San Jacinto Mountains, along a steep canyon, scientists are turning 30 acres [121,000 m²] of pines and hardwoods in California into a futuristic vision of environmental study. They are linking up more than 100 tiny sensors, robots, cameras and computers, which are beginning to paint an unusually detailed portrait of this lush world, home to more than 30 rare and endangered species. Much of the instrumentation is wireless. Devices the size of a deck of cards — known as motes, after dust motes..."
* [http://www.scdigest.com/assets/FirstThoughts/05-08-25.cfm?cid=221&ctype=content Technologies to watch: motes]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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