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Microelectronic circuits exhibit increasing variations in performance, power consumption, and reliability parameters across the manufactured parts and across use of these parts over time in the field. These variations have led to increasing use of overdesign and guardbands in design and test to ensure yield and reliability with respect to a rigid set of datasheet specifications. This paper explores the possibility of constructing computing machines that purposely expose hardware variations to various layers of the system stack including software. This leads to the vision of underdesigned hardware that utilizes a software stack that opportunistically adapts to a sensed or modeled hardware. The envisioned underdesigned and opportunistic computing (UnO) machines face a number of challenges related to the sensing infrastructure and software interfaces that can effectively utilize the sensory data. In this paper, we outline specific sensing mechanisms that we have developed and their potential use in building UnO machines.