Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are becoming increasingly popular, due to the benefits they bring to many applications as well as the increasing availability and maturity of the underlying technology. The fundamental building blocks of these networks are the sensor nodes themselves, the sensors attached to these nodes, and the software running on the nodes. A basic sensor node platform consists of a CPU, a radio and a power supply. For the last 10 years a number of research institutions and companies have been designing and producing nodes with these three components as a minimum. We review how these sensor nodes have evolved over this time and we also categorize the features of various platforms so as to enable an application developer to quickly determine which node is appropriate for their particular network or which features are desirable for inclusion on a custom built sensor platform. Â© 2008 IEEE.
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