Cots Dust, Large Scale Models for Smart Dust, are devices that incorporate communications, processing, sensors, and batteries into a package about a cubic inch in size.  The devices were largely designed by Seth Hollar under the advisorial guidance of Professor Kris Pister.

Master's Thesis on COTS Dust is here.

COTS Dust were designed with the intention of testing out communication and sensing capabilities of large numbers of nodes.   Potential applications are limitless!  They can range from fire detectors to espionage, from earthquake monitoring to people tracking.

The basic structure of the COTS Dust consists of an atmel microcontroller with sensors and a communication unit (see figure above).  The communication unit is one of the following: an RF transceiver, a Laser Module, and a corner cube reflector.  Devices can have one or all of the following sensors:  temperature, light, humidity, pressure, 3 axis magnetometers, 3 axis accelerometers.   Based on this architecture, I designed a family of COTS Dust, each having the basic architecture but with a unique set of communication and sensor capabilities.  The table below describes the family in more detail.
Names Picture Comm Link/Sensor Comments
RF Mote RF 916.5MHz OOK
5kbps 20 meter range

Sensors: 2 axis magnetometers, 2 axis accelerometers, light, tempereature, pressure

The RF motes' final design was finished in the early part of 1999.  Since then, various projects have been undertaken to test communication protocols for distributed sensor networks with the RF motes.
Laser Mote Laser Module: 3 mW optical transmission150 mWelectrical power.  10's of km range.

Sensors: temperature, light, pressure, humidity

The Laser Mote has been used to demonstrate the long range communication capabilities in small packages.  Matthew Last and company have demonstrated 21 Km one way communication from San Francicsco to Berkeley.
CCR Mote
codesigned by
Farrah Santoso
Corner Cube Reflector/Light Receiver Communication.  Range is function of the intensity of the laser.

Sensors: temperature

The Corner Cube Reflector (CCR) is a MEMS device that allows for passive laser communications.  The device is being used as a test platform to demonstrate the communication algorithms that will ultimately be implemented on Smart Dust.
Mini Mote
codesigned by
Christina Adela
RF 916.5MHz OOK
10kbps 20 meter range

Sensors: temperature

The Mini Mote is a miniaturized version of the RF Mote.  It's smaller size and simpler circuit design makes it both cheaper and easier to handle.
designed by
Sean Hubert
Steerable Laser Beam Communication with integrated CCD camera

Sensors: light

MALT was built in order to demonstrate steerable laser beam communication.  Algorithms are underway to investigate how two such devices can locate and communicate to one another without initially knowing the location of the other device.
codesigned by
James McClurkin
RF 916.5 MHz OOK
10kbps 20 meter range

Sensors: light, temperature

weC is the next revision of the Mini Mote.  The primary advantage of the weC mote is that it can be reprogrammed wirelessly.  Currently, weC mote is being used in an EECS graduate class at Berkeley. 
designed by
Brett Warneke
IrDA communication

Sensors: temperature

The IrDA mote was designed to interface with other IrDA compliant devices (ex. Palm Pilot).  The ubiquity of the IrDA standard would allow these motes direct communiction with commerical equipment.

Questions?  Comments?  Please contact Seth Hollar.

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