Updated March 18, 2023
What is Sensors?
In a broader meaning, sensors are devices or machines used to detect the presence of any physical object in the vicinity and send information about the same to the receiving end. The device is mostly used with other electronic devices. Any physical quantity like pressure, force, strain, light etc., can be identified and converted into a desired electrical signal. Basically, these are classified as analog and digital sensors. Others include temperature, ultrasonic, pressure and proximity sensors. It uses less energy and has high performance. Data is collected from the environment using sensors and used for the internet of things.
Top 12 Types of Sensors
They can be classified based on the physical properties they measure in the environment.
It is used to measure the temperature in the environment and thus helps in knowing the variation in the temperature. They are used in the medical, automotive, aerospace and agricultural fields. Examples are thermocouple, thermistor, and a resistance temperature detector.
It converts light energy into an electrical signal to see the output. They are otherwise called as photo sensors or photoelectric devices. Mobile phones, computers, tablets use light sensors.
This device is used to measure the pressure of liquids and gases. The pressure is measured, and it generates a signal as output. Examples are pressure transducers and pressure switches.
Distance between transmitting and receiving ultrasonic signals are measured using this sensor. They emit sound waves in a frequency that humans can’t hear. They are used in measuring liquid levels, detecting wire breaks, height control, robotic sensing and so on. The types of ultrasonic sensors are Proximity and Continuous Level.
They are used to detect colors and to recognize color marks. They should be able to distinguish between different colors. The color is detected in the RGB scale. The interaction between light source, object and receiver are measured using Color Sensor. They are also used in the industrial and automatic control field.
Touch works as a switch and does the specific operation when touched. The touch screen of mobiles and laptops are the perfect examples. They are sensitive to human touch, or any force applied or the pressure and are made of light, magnets or electricity.
7. Flow and Level
Flow and Level are used to determine the level of fluids in a particular space. It works on the principle of buoyancy. A magnet is connected to the device, and when the level rises, the magnet gives a signal to the switch that makes it work.
The device that is used to detect smoke is called Smoke Sensor. They have a light source attached to them. When smoke occurs, the sensor makes the light reach the light sensor, making the alarm work. They are used in buildings, ships, airplanes, etc.
Accelerometers are used to measure the acceleration of a particular device or a vehicle. Proper acceleration of the body depends on the motion or rest of the body, whereas coordinate acceleration depends on the body’s coordinate system. This is an inertial sensor and is used in vehicles, android devices, etc.
The device that measures the infrared light emitted by objects within its view is called an infrared sensor. IR sensors either emit or detect infrared lights. Active and passive infrared sensors measure IR lights based on the warmth or the material. PIR detects heat from the environment.
A humidity sensor is otherwise called a hygrometer. These are used to measure the moist or air temperature present in the atmosphere. The information from the sensor is used for measuring humidity to comfort people or in vehicles.
This device is used to measure the tilt or rotation of the reference plane in different axes. This is used to measure the inclination or rotation of the surface. This can be used in vehicles as a safety alarm when an accident occurs.
Real-time Application Sensor
Below are the Real-time Applications.
- Sensors get information from the environment and transfer it to the computer. The system transfers the input to the needed output and displays it to the user.
- Civilians and military aircraft use them in one way or another. They have the AutoPilot system application where the aircraft controls its flight by itself when all the conditions are stable. This system has several sensors to measure the height, pressure, light, humidity and saves the information in the system. This information is compared with the preset information, which provides a stable condition. If both the information is the same, the computer sends information to various parts of the aircraft such as wings, rudders, stabilizers. Then the autopilot system takes control of the aircraft until found otherwise. All these are important in this system.
- Another application is using the wireless network in different industries. Various sensors are used in different places to collect various data related to different fields. This data is used in medical, engineering and agricultural fields.
- When the fire is detected inside the industry, the smoke detector provides a signal to the light sensor. The light sensor produces light which senses the alarm system implemented inside the industry. This produces the alarm in the industry and thus alerts security and employees.
- Fitbit, the activity tracker, tracks the activities of the users by sensing the movements such as walking, running, sleeping and other motions. This helps in tracking the health of the user.
- They are helpful to the people to detect smoke, to know the health, to prevent accidents. It can be used to detect a missing person as well as the presence of water on the moon.
This is a guide to What is Sensors?. Here we discuss the top 12 Types of Sensors like Temperature, Light, Pressure, Ultrasonic, color, etc. You can also go through our suggested articles to learn more –