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Computers and Sensors

Sensors are input devices that record data about the physical environment around it. Sensors send data to a microprocessor (computer). They do not make judgements, decisions or control any output devices. There are many types of sensors used in a variety of household, commercial and industrial applications.

Motion Sensors

Image Sensors

The role of sensors in control

Sensors are used to measure physical quantities such as temperature, light, pressure, sound, and humidity. They send signals to the processor. For example:

  • a security alarm system may have an infrared sensor which sends a signal when the beam is broken
  • heat sensitive sensor in the corner of a room may detect the presence of a person
  • temperature sensors could be used to control the heating in a large building
  • magnetic sensors are used to detect metal and can be placed in roads to monitor traffic flow