A sensor is a device designed to measure some physical quantity in its environment. An example might be a heat sensor that measures the temperature in a room or a pressure sensitive mat that detects someone walking over it.
|A temperature sensor is tucked away somewhere inside this fridge and its output is used by the display you see. The output could as easily be fed into a computer for further processing.|
Once they have taken a reading or measurement, they might send that reading straight back to the computer or they may store it up and take a set of readings over time and send them back in a batch.
This data is called an ‘input’. Whilst the sensor itself is producing an 'output'.
There are many different types of sensors, below is a table showing you a few of the most common ones:
|Heat||Temperature||Living room for central heating system|
|Humidity||Water vapour in the air||Swimming pool, greenhouse|
|Infra-red||Infra-red radiation e.g. body heat||Security alarm systems|
|Light||Light levels||External security lights|
|PH||Acid/alkali levels e.g. pH of soil||Environmental experiments, river pollution|
|Pressure||Pressure||Burglar alarm systems, automatic doors|
|Smoke||Smoke in the atmosphere||Offices|
|Sound||Levels of sound||Security alarm systems|
|Tilt||Angle of tilt||Windows in security alarm system|
|Touch||Detects if one object bumps into another||Computer controlled robots|
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: Sensors