A smart structure involves distributed actuators and sensors, and one or more microprocessors that analyze the responses from the sensors and use distributed-parameter control theory to command the actuators to apply localized strains to minimize system response. A smart structure has the capability to respond to a changing external environment (such as loads or shape change) as well as to a changing internal environment ( such as damage or failure). It incorporates smart actuators that allow the alteration of system characteristics ( such as stiffness or damping) as well as of system response (such as strain or shape) in a controlled manner. Many types of actuators and sensors are being considered, such as piezoelectric materials, shape memory alloys, electrostrictive materials, magnetostrictive materials, electro-rheological fluids and fiber optics. These can be integrated with main load-carrying structures by surface bonding or embedding without causing any significant changes in the mass or structural stiffness of the system. Numerous applications of smart structures technology to various physical systems are evolving to actively control vibration, noise, aeroelastic stability, damping, shape and stress distribution. Applications range from space systems, fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, automotive, civil structures and machine tools. Much of the early development of smart structures methodology was driven by space applications such as vibration and shape control of large flexible space structures, but now wider applications are envisaged for aeronautical and other systems. Embedded or surface-bonded smart actuators cn an airplane wing or helicopter blade will induce alteration of twist/camber of airfoil (shape change), that in turn will cause variation of lift distribution and may help to control static and dynamic aeroelastic problems. Applications of smart structures technology to aerospace and other systems are expanding rapidly. Major barriers are: actuator stroke, reliable data base of smart material characterteristics, non-availability of robust distributed parameter control stratgies, and non-existent mathematical modeling of smart systems. The objective of this paper is to review the state-of-the-art of smart actuators and sensors and integrated systems and point out the needs for future research.