Smart dust requires mainly revolutionary advances in miniaturization, integration & energy management. Hence designers have used MEMS technology to build small sensors, optical communication components, and power supplies. Microelectro mechanical systems consists of extremely tiny mechanical elements, often integrated together with electronic circuitory.
They are measured in micrometers, that is millions of a meter. They are made in a similar fashion as computer chips. The advantage of this manufacturing process is not simply that small structures can be achieved but also that thousands or even millions of system elements can be fabricated simultaneously. This allows systems to be both highly complex and extremely low-cost.
The electronics then process the information derived from the sensors and through some decision making capability direct the actuators to respond by moving, positioning, regulating, and filtering, thereby controlling the environment for some desired purpose. Because MEMS devices are manufactured using batch fabrication techniques similar to those used for integrated circuits, unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability, and sophistication can be placed on a small silicon chip at a relatively low cost.
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