The Different Types of Sensors Used in Robotics

Do you need a robotic sensor, but not sure which one? With this guide, you can learn about the types of sensors and how they’re used in robotics. 

From light to position sensors, robots use these mechanisms to complete high-functioning tasks. Now let’s take a look at the types of sensors used in robotics:

Why Are Sensors Important?

Sensors are crucial to robotics since they make a robot aware of their environment and enable it to perform the required tasks. Without sensors, robots can only accomplish a set of repetitive movements that limit the robot’s ability.  

Sensors allow robots to become more humanlike; and thus can see, hear, move, and touch. With these capabilities, robots can execute high-level tasks.  

Types of Sensors Used in Robotics   

These key sensors are essential in any robotic design and provide effective programming. If you keep these sensors in mind, you’re likely to build a high-functioning robot.

Light Sensors 

Light sensors are used to identify changes in light or voltage. The two primary light sensors are photoresistor and photovoltaic.  

A photoresistor is a kind of resistor that changes with light intensity. That means the more light that’s shined the fewer resistance. This sensor is relativity inexpensive and can be used in most robots. 

While photovoltaic sensors are mostly used to convert solar energy into electricity. This sensor is perfect if you want to build a solar-powered robot. However, this sensor tends to be more expensive.  

Sound Sensors 

This sensor (usually a microphone) identifies sound and, in return, sends a voltage that’s equal to the sound level. If designed properly, a basic robot can navigate from the sound it receives. While more complex robots can use the microphone for voice recognition and speech. 

Unlike light sensors, sound sensors are more difficult to implement in a robot. Due to their small voltage, they need to be amplified to produce a voltage change. 

Article Continued Below

Proximity Sensor  

Proximity sensors can identify the presence of a nearby object without any physical contact. These sensors work by transmitting electromagnetic radiation and examining the signal for any interferences. While there are a variety of proximity sensors; these are the three most common types used in robotics: 

  • Infrared Transceivers
  • Ultrasonic Sensor
  • Phototresister

Infrared transceivers are typically the best proximity sensors due to its long-last ability and its affordability. However, infrared transceivers may malfunction in conditions like snow, fog, and harsh sunlight

If you want a proximity sensor that’s not affected due to weather conditions, purchase an ultrasonic sensor. Ultrasonic sensors can maintain longer distances and provide detail readings in a variety of weather patterns. 

Position Sensor

As the name implies, position sensors locate the position of a robot from an indoor location or an outdoor position. Linear position sensors are one of the best types of position sensors. Since they’re inexpensive and provide excellent accuracy, you won’t have to worry about them malfunctioning. 

Final Thoughts 

Robic sensors come in a variety of different styles, but each helps a robot function and perform certain tasks. Sensors used in robotics are durable, long-lasting, and, most importantly, affordable for most projects. For more information on robotic sensors, visit our blog.