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MOICS Videos

Tanner Labs is developing MOICS (MEMS-based Optical Identification and Communication System), a technology that provides secure communication between an interrogator and a compact, lightweight, and robust remote unit. The key component is the micro-cornercube reflector (CCR) on the remote unit.

Below we provide micro-cornercube videos, captured using a microscope, in both MPEG and AVI formats. To view the MPEG videos, you may have to download a plug-in. The Windows operating systems provide AVI viewing capabilities.

Micro-Cornercube: Manual Assembly

MOICS cornercubes are fabricated by etching underneath the the mirrors to release them from the substrate, and then snapping the mirrors into position. The video below records manual assembly. The gold squares are the mirrors; each mirror's area is less than 0.1 mm2.

MPEG (7.5 MB)

AVI (5.1 MB)

Micro-Cornercube: Self Assembly

Manual assembly is difficult and labor-intensive. Hence, Tanner Labs is developing "self assembly" techniques in which the mirrors automatically move into position when a voltage is applied.

The video below records such self-assembly. The voltage is applied with two probes, one at the lower right, and one on the left side of the bottom edge.

MPEG (2.0 MB)

AVI (2.2 MB)

The video below records an earlier stage of our self-assembly technology.

MPEG (3.9 MB)

AVI (3.6 MB)

The video below focuses on the sliding track mechanism, also seen in the videos above, during self assembly.

MPEG (3.0 MB)

AVI (2.0 MB)

Micro-Cornercube Modulation

When the three mirrors of the micro-cornercube are orthogonal, the device reflects any incoming signal directly back to its source. By tilting one of its mirrors, the micro-cornercube can modulate the reflected signal and thereby transmit information to the interrogator.

The video below captures one of the cornercube mirrors modulating. The other two mirrors are perpendicular to the plane of view and hence cannot be seen easily.

MPEG (2.7 MB)

AVI (2.1 MB)


This research has been sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).


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