SMART DUST Autonomous sensing and communication in a cubic millimeter
Smartdust is a hypothetical system of many tiny microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) such as sensors, robots, or other devices, that can detect, for example, light, temperature, vibration, magnetism or chemicals; are usually networked wirelessly; and are distributed over some area to perform tasks, usually sensing.
The science/engineering goal of the Smart Dust project is to demonstrate that a complete sensor/communication system can be integrated into a cubic millimeter package. This involves both evolutionary and revolutionary advances in miniaturization, integration, and energy management. We aren’t targeting any particular sensor, in fact there is no direct funding for sensor research in the project (but we’ve got quite a few to choose from based on a decade or two of outstanding MEMS work at Berkeley and elsewhere).
We’re funded by DARPA, so we will demonstrate Smart Dust with one or more applications of military relevance. In addition, we’re pursuing several different applications with commercial importance, and we’ve got a long list of applications to work on if we only had the time.