At one time you needed a large room to house a computer – now there’s more than enough room on a coin. The Michigan Micro Mote is the smallest autonomous computer in the world at just one millimeter cubed.
It’s the culmination of about ten years work for the University of Michigan’s computer science department. Despite its tiny size, the computer can take photos, read temperatures and record pressure readings.
The oil industry is interested in inserting the Micro Mote into oil wells. It would then be used to help detect pockets of oil that can still be extracted before moving on to new wells.
With no space for a keyboard, mouse or display, the Micro Mote is programmed and charged via light. Once the Micro Mote processes the data, it is able to send the information to a central computer via conventional radio frequencies. The researchers say with the computer now ready for production it is time to move on to something even smaller – something they call smart dust.
(Source: CBS News)