Sensors are one of the main cornerstones of modern day technology, actually without sensors we wouldn’t have most of the cool gadgets and devices that we enjoy today, all of the smart stuff that your various devices do are backed up with different kinds of sensors that serve different purposes, so lets dive into this field in this article and learn what we can about sensors.
If you have read our article about robots you would find in the definition of the robot that it senses its environment, through sensors robots are able to sense its environment, so sensors play a major role there.
So What Is A Sensor
A sensor is a device that detects and measures a certain physical property and transforms it into a quantity that another unit -the controller- can understand. So it’s basically an interface between the controller and the physical environment.
Usually, the controller is a digital controller so all it understands is the electrical form and to do something useful it needs to interact with the physical world and the first point of interaction is through sensors.
So that is basically it, a sensor is a device that detects and measures a certain physical property and outputs signal in a form that the controller may understand and make use of, usually the controller is digital so the output of the sensor is in electrical form.
Types Of Sensors
For every physical property you can identify there’s probably a sensor that can measure it, some of these sensors are:
- Position sensor
- Proximity sensor
- Velocity sensor
- Load sensor
- Pressure sensor
- Temperature sensor
- Flow sensor
- Liquid-level sensor
Design & Properties Of Sensors
When an engineer is designing a system he chooses sensors based on three factors:
- System requirements
- And reliability.
Sensors can affect the property it is measuring, like a temperature sensor that measures a hot object, the object may raise the temperature of the sensor and the sensor may lower the temperature of the object.
But generally, sensors are designed to have minimal effect on what is measured, making sensors smaller helps with this.