Smartdust is a hypothetical system of many tiny microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) such as sensors, robots, or other devices, that can detectfor example, light, temperature, vibration, magnetism, or chemicals.
They are usually operate on a computer network wirelessly and are distributed over some area to perform tasks, usually sensing through radio-frequency identification. Without an antenna of much greater size the range of tiny smart dust communication devices is measured in a few millimeters and they may be vulnerable to electromagnetic disablement and destruction by microwave exposure.
The smartdust concept was introduced, developed, and funded by DARPA due to the potential military applications of the technology. The concept was later expanded upon by Kristofer S. J. Pister in 2001. A recent review discusses various techniques to take smartdust in sensor networks beyond millimeter dimensions to the micrometre level.
The Ultra-Fast Systems component of the Nanoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Glasgow is a founding member of a large international consortium which is developing a related concept: smart specks
In Chemtrails but with nanotech