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Common sensors and their uses

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Sensors are used in almost every aspect of our lives nowadays, whether we notice it or not. They can help us to simplify tasks, automate processes that would otherwise have to be manually instigated, and, in some cases, even save lives.

Let’s take a look at some of the common sensors and their uses.

1. Temperature sensors

One of the most used sensors of today is the temperature sensor. This detects temperatures, and can also detect a change in temperature. They’re used in everything from mobile phones and computers to prevent overheating, to thermostats and air conditioning units, medical devices, and cars and other vehicles.

2. Proximity sensors

Proximity sensors are able to indicate the presence of an object. You are most likely to have used a proximity sensor in a car with parking assist, in which the sensor will help you to park evenly without getting too close to other vehicles or any other nearby object. You can also find these sensors in some phones and aircraft.

3. Infrared sensors

Infrared sensors emit, measure and detect radiation. They can usually also detect motion, and detect the level of heat emitting from an item. For this reason, they are often used in conjunction with proximity sensors in mobile phones, for features such as face detection unlock.

4. Oxygen sensors

You’re most likely to find oxygen sensors in a medical setting, as they are used in ventilators and oxygen supplementation machines to detect a patient’s blood oxygen levels and adjust their oxygen dosage accordingly. You can find out more about the oxygen sensors on offer today at www.sensoronics.com.

5. Ultrasonic sensors

Ultrasonic sensors measure the distance to an object using ultrasound waves. They can be used as proximity sensors in cars with parking assist, and can also be used in manufacturing technology. Of course, most of us will be familiar with ultrasonic sensors in ultrasound devices, which produce images of the organs inside the body for medical examination.

6. Light sensors

Light sensors, as the name suggests, detect light. They can be used in mobile phones with adjustable brightness, which can detect the level of brightness and adjust the phone’s brightness to an appropriate level. They can also be used in sensors for motion lights that are activated when light drops to a certain level.

7. Smoke sensors

Most of us will know smoke sensors for their role in smoke detectors. These are recommended by the United States Fire Administration for use in all homes for their role in early detection of fires, which can, in many cases, save lives. Smoke sensors are clever in how they work: they have two electrically charged plates with radioactive material between them, producing a current. When smoke enters the sensor, it affects the flow of the ions and triggers an alarm.

8. Humidity sensors

Humidity sensors detect the temperature of the air and its moisture level. They can be used in industrial machines to ensure safe and regulated operation, as well as in appliances like fridges and freezers, and dehumidifiers.

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