Trade-Offs in Cooperative Goal Seek using Nano-Devices


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Micro and nano-scale devices and systems require not only nano-scale components but also minimalistic hardware design and control methodologies. When constructing mobile nano-devices, the numbers of motors and sensors should be reduced and the control algorithms should be simplified, whenever possible. However, such reductions may result in sub optimal performance. We consider here the potential trade-offs between two configurations of nano-devices performing a cooperative goal-seeking task. In the complex configuration, each nano-device has multi directional sensing and controlled, multi-directional locomotion. In the simple configuration, each nano-device can sense only at its present location and can only move in a straight line or at random. This latter configuration can be realized with only a single sensor and, using inspiration from bacterial locomotion, a single rotary motor attached to a multi-filamented cable resembling a flagellum. Rotation in one direction results in straight-line movement while rotation in the other results in “tumbling” at random. Using simulation at a high level of abstraction we show that performance using the simpler configuration depends greatly on resampling rate but can be made to approach that of the more complex configuration.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Technical Proceedings of the 2006 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 3
Published: May 7, 2006
Pages: 495 - 498
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: Sensors - Chemical, Physical & Bio
ISBN: 0-9767985-8-1