Tag Archives: sensors

Using Reed Switches as Sensors

Any ordinary electrical switch has two contacts. Push-type switches are spring loaded so that pushing a button brings them together and they spring apart on releasing the button. Rocker switches have mechanical levers that close the contacts when in one position, while in the other position they pull apart. In reed switches, the two contacts are in the shape of metal reeds, each coated with a metal that does not wear easily. The reeds are made from a ferromagnetic material, so they are easy to magnetize. Read more [...]

A Rain Alert for the Raspberry Pi

This Raspberry Pi (RBPi) rain alert will let you know when it starts to rain, so you can reel in the clothes you had let out to dry after washing. Although the kit uses an RBPi3, any model of the RBPi family can easily handle this project. A later extension can make it send tweets as well, but for now, it simply triggers a buzzer. The primary sensor in this project senses falling raindrops. This raindrop sensor is actually a printed circuit board with two traces running across the entire board in Read more [...]

Motion Tracking through the MC3672

This year, the MSEC or MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress had mCube exhibiting their incredibly small and low-power MC3672, an inertial sensor product. This is a three-axis accelerometer, and its size is only 1.1 x 1.3 mm. This tiny WLCSP packaged device is a low parasitic unit, with enormous possibilities of unobtrusive use as low power motion tracking in wearable design, and in a completely new set of applications in future. Recently, mCube acquired Xsens and they were able to couple a sensor Read more [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 Sensors help Seniors Live Independently

With the benefits of medical science and increased awareness, people are now living longer than their ancestors did. Along with longer living, they also desire to live as independently as possible in their senior years. However, certain risks are part of independent lifestyles. These include inadequate care resulting in deteriorating health and debilitating falls. Researchers are addressing these issues by developing smart homes. They are using sensors and other devices and technologies for enhancing 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 [...]

Farming With Drones & Robots

According to Heidi Johnson, crops and soil agent for Dane County, Wisconsin, “Farmers are the ultimate “innovative tinkerers”.” Farming, through the ages, has undergone vast changes. Although in developing worlds, you will still find stereotype farmers planting his seeds and praying for rain and good weather while waiting for his crops to grow, farm technology has progressed. Therefore, we now have twenty-four hour farming and driverless combines and autonomous tractors have moved out of Read more [...]

Make Your Raspberry Pi Follow Walls

The versatile single board computer, the Raspberry Pi or RBPi, makes an excellent base for an autonomous bot using a rover 5 platform. The bot uses custom laser range finders for basic wall following. It features speed control of each track, regulated by PID using feedback from its quadrature encoders, giving it the ability of directional control. The basic features are explained below. Batteries power the bot, feeding two separate switching mode regulators. One supplies power to the motors via Read more [...]