The road to global innovation begins with the smaller building blocks. Smart technology has made a big leap from mobile devices to full-blown systems. One of the innovations that pioneered a more high-tech lifestyle was automation. It is now widely incorporated into our infrastructures and processes, ultimately improving our lives in the process.
However, automation is only the tip of the iceberg. It is a small part of the multiple sensor technologies that make up the smart urban infrastructures we know today. Primarily used to detect changes, which serve as a trigger or stimulus to a corresponding action, sensors drive automated processes to lessen a system’s work.
To further understand what makes a smart urban infrastructure, let’s look at the five important sensor technologies involved.
Temperature sensors are vital in detecting and maintaining environmental changes. Multiple devices utilize this technology, such as semiconductor sensors, thermocouples, resistance detectors, and thermistors. These vary in application.
Temperature sensors operate by circuits signaled by relays, which function once they reach the desired thermal conditions. In infrastructures, these sensors are built into an electronic project system. Such incorporation lets users control outlets connected to the building’s HVAC system, such as heaters, fans, air conditioners, all from a remote point.
Proximity sensors are mostly utilized in security systems. It operates by identifying the presence or movement of an object within a determined vicinity. There are three types, which are capacitive, inductive, and photoelectric sensors.
Once a proximity sensor detects activity, it will notify the user for further action depending on the set command. It governs most security operations in infrastructures, from parking to creating auditory alerts when movement is near a prohibited area.
Belonging to the robotics category of technology, light sensors are another vital component of smart urban infrastructure. They work both ways as they can detect and radiate a controlled amount of light.
Two types of light sensors are used in infrastructure: photovoltaic and photoresistor. The former combines transistors and capacitors used in the light conversion, namely solar radiation to electrical energy. On the other hand, photoresistors detect light and its intensity.
This sensor technology prompts robotic movement by observing contact between the surface and an object. It governs a wide range of industrial applications. It is the force behind machine unloading and carrying. Tactile sensors can also be seen in micro and limiting switches circuits.
The field of tactile sensing technology is still progressing and has multiple innovations in the making. Its development will continue to bring forth improvements in smart urban infrastructures.
The technology behind remote controls is the IR sensor. Its ability to detect and emit infrared light. In the case of the common controller, infrared distance sensors transmit light to signal the receiver end of the circuit to perform a specific action.
There is almost no modern infrastructure that does not utilize remote controls, let alone a smart urban one. The efficiency and convenience of this technology pioneered the automation movement. The range and coverage of its applications are now more extensive.