These days computers have become more powerful, simpler and mobile. There are a number of devices, which work like a computer but are much smaller for example,  mobile phones, Pocket PC and  other devices which have processors, RAM and chipsets like computers. These small devices can perform almost all tasks that a computer can. A lot of small devices  have been created which can monitor physical conditions like temperature, humidity, acceleration, etc. One such device is  Mote; it is the most advanced device for monitoring a number of things.

Mote

Mote is a very small device that works like a mini-computer. It can be used for monitoring density of various materials, temperature, light etc. It can also be used for monitoring vibrations, recording and transmitting audio. Some basic components that a Mote has are:

  • A small computer (which is operated at very low power)
  • Sensor
  • Radio link or transmitter
  • Battery

In Mote, the computer processes the information and records it. If a transmitter is connected, the computer can send this collected data to a receiver within its range. Sensors of various types and numbers can be connected to the mote. For example, if you want to monitor temperature, humidity and light  for a specific place, then the sensors of these things are connected to the mote and it would record and send data, or do whatever it is programmed for. Radio link or transmitter is necessary so that there would be no need of removing mote from its fixed place. As mote consumes very low power, so two AA sized batteries could be enough for a year or even more. It actually depends how much quantity is measured and for how long. If mote is programmed to record every second then its battery might run out quickly but if you program it to measure things, after a considerable time then the battery would last longer.

How mote works

The basic component in a mote is the computer, which controls sensor and  battery usage. Information collected by various sensors is processed and recorded by the computer which then sends this information through radio link to a receiver. It gets power from battery and then performs all the functions. You can add either one sensor or more than one sensor.

Older motes are of comparatively larger sizes but now motes of size 2mm x 2.5mm have also been created, which work better than the older motes. If a powerful radio is attached to a mote than it might send signals to large distances may be miles. You can connect radio of any range to mote and can increase or decrease its range accordingly.

Examples

Even though, motes are available in varying sizes and shapes, they all work  in the same way. MICA2 mote is a mote of comparatively bigger size. It uses two AA size batteries, which are connected to it through a attached battery case which measures 5.7 x 3.18 x 0.64 centimeters in size. There are some motes which are comparatively much smaller in size and are more advanced; MICA2DOT is a mote which can perform all functions like the bigger motes and its smaller than a coin. Spec is the smallest mote and its 2mm x 2.5mm in size.

Future of mote

In the following years, the size of mote is expected to decrease further, one exp0ects to see a  mote equal to the size of a sand particle. It is expected that a mote would be used in each and every place for various purposes and will have no limitation to its application. . These days power is supplied from battery but in future a mote may solar powered or it might get electricity from various types of vibrations or from heat emitting from various machines.