Category Archives: Sensors

Using Hall-Effect Type Sensors Effectively

We are familiar with appliances such as wine coolers, freezers, and refrigerators. They keep out beverages and food cold, extending their useful life. Most often, these appliances have lights that illuminate the insides when the user opens their doors. Since the lights only need to be on when the user opens the door, usually, the designer of such appliances place a sensor to detect the opening and closing of the door. A sensor of the Hall-effect type can detect the position of the door. In refrigerators, Read more [...]

What are Depth Sensors?

Ocean going ships typically use depth sensing techniques mainly for locating underwater objects to prevent running into them. This included gauging the distance of the sea floor. The principle involves measuring the time a burst of sound directed into the water takes to return after reflecting off an object. This time of flight gives a measure of its distance from the source of the sound, as the speed of sound traveling in water is fairly constant, depending on the water density and its temperature. With Read more [...]

Working with Gas Sensors and the Raspberry Pi

Many devices predicted by earlier science fiction stories and movies have come true. Among them are gas detectors as envisaged by the TV series Star Trek. If you have a single board computer such as the Raspberry Pi (RBPi), you can use it to detect the type of gas and air quality around you. Of course, you will need to couple the RBPI with a gas sensor, and among the popular gas sensors available are the BME680 from Bosch, and the CCS811 from AMS. Gas sensors are helpful in sniffing out volatile Read more [...]

Sensing Movement in Three Axes

All modern vehicles must sense the position and movement of automotive control functions such as turn signal indicators and gear selectors. However, engineers face challenges here with conventional sensor technologies as the requirement is for sensing movement in the three axes simultaneously. The challenge lies in the physical size of the device, its reliability, power consumption, and its cost. However, 3-D magnetic sensing technology, recently introduced, could be helping engineers to address Read more [...]

Is Chirp Microsystems Usurping UI?

User Interface (UI) is on the verge of a major shakeup as it was evident at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year. Leaving behind other UI interfaces such as motion, touch, and voice, touch-less is now looming large and lucrative as the new UI of choice for consumer devices. Touch-less means you can operate your device simply by waving your hands near it, without actually touching it. The CEO of Chirp Microsystems, Michelle Kiang is of the opinion that the UI revolution has been bringing on Read more [...]

Moving 3-D Sensing Into Smartphones and Vehicles

Chirp Microsystems, a new startup from Berkeley, California, has developed a new Time of Flight (ToF) ultrasonic sensing platform for use in wearables and Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) systems. They have selected some big customers to whom they have made available their development platform. At present, the high-end VR/AR systems are typically confined to a prescribed space, or tethered to a base station. The limit comes from the requirements of additional equipment in the space for creating Read more [...]

Piq: This Ski-sensor Measures Details of your Skiing

Most skiers want feedback about their skiing, for improving their technique. The ski sensor from Rossignol offers one that not only does what skiers want in unprecedented detail, but also light and tiny enough to be unobtrusive. For instance, you get details about edge-to-edge transition time, in-air rotation, g-force, airtime and more. The sensor is slick enough and low profile, so you may not even notice that you have it on you. This multi-sport ski sensor, Piq, measures just 44 x 38 x 5.4 Read more [...]

Sleep Better with a Raspberry Pi

Sleep is an integral part of our lives, and lack of quality sleep quickly leads to a whole host of issues related to physical, emotional, behavioral, etc. Quality sleep is linked to a good environment that includes proper bedding, clothing, temperature, humidity, and lighting among other things. Although electronics may not be able to help much with the proper choice of bedding and clothing, a cheap but versatile single board computer such as the RBPi or Raspberry Pi is a good contender for controlling Read more [...]

How Smart Sensor Technology helps Beehives

Plants are necessary for life on the planet Earth, as they transform the gas Carbon-Di-Oxide that animals exhale into life-sustaining Oxygen. Plants, in turn, depend largely on bees to pollinate their flowers and propagate thereby. That makes honey bees a keystone species, which humans have recognized throughout history. Bees help to pollinate nearly 70% of all plants on earth assuring about 30% of the global food supply. That makes bees a predictor of our planet's future health. Global warning Read more [...]

Waspmote Plug & Sense! : Solar-Powered Wireless Sensor Platforms

Today, we use sensors for a myriad of activities such as intrusion detection, fall detection, patient surveillance, art and goods preservation, offspring care, animal tracking, selective irrigation, and many more. Where the sensor network has to operate outdoors, what can be a better way of powering them other than through solar means? Using an external or internal solar panel, one can safely recharge batteries for the system. For external solar panels, the panel is usually mounted on a holder Read more [...]