The world’s smallest computer, which measures only 0.3mm x 0.3mm in size has been created thanks to the researchers at the University of Michigan, and the tiny robot is easily smaller than a grain of rice. Initially, the record was held by IBM’s computer, which measured 1mm in size.
University of Michigan’s prototype device is solar-powered and has been dubbed the Micro Mote. It does not have any memory storage system and it obviously needs constant exposure to sunlight because it cannot hold a battery – there are no batteries small enough that can work with it.
In addition, due to its size, it also cannot take in too much power either. Hence, the Micro Mote runs on nano-amps, which give out basically a million times less energy than an idling smartphone.
The uses for such a small scale robot are never ending but the team hopes it could be used to measure the temperatures of tumors present within the human body – knowing these temperatures could help in detecting them as well as, perhaps, aid with treatment in the future.
The Micro Mote is definitely bio-compatible and small enough to function within an internal system without disrupting it in any way.
What other uses could there be for such a tiny computer? The team notes that, aside from cancer studies, the robot could prove to be useful for audio and visual surveillance, biochemical process monitoring and, my favorite by far – tiny snail studies.