Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor, also called CMOS (pronounced “seamoss”), is the name for a technology used in digital devices, such as computers. Two types of field-effect transistor (FET) work together, in tandem and in huge numbers, on a single integrated circuit (IC) chip. The main asset of CMOS technology in robotics is the fact that the devices can function effectively with tiny electrical currents. Thus, wellengineered CMOS circuits draw very little power from the power supply, allowing the use of batteries. Another advantage of CMOS technology is that it works extremely fast. It can process a lot of data in a short period of time.

A disadvantage of CMOS devices is the fact that they are easily damaged by static electricity. Devices of this type must be stored with their pins embedded in conductive foam material, and/or packaged in special plastic that resists electrostatic-charge buildup.When constructing or servicing equipment using CMOS, technicians must take precautions to avoid the presence of static electric charges on their hands, and on instruments such as probes and soldering irons. This is usually ensured by physically connecting the technician’s body to a good electrical ground.

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