Till now we have talked about 3 technologies of Amazon Go Store RFID, QR Codes and Computer Vision. And as I have said in the first blog about Amazon Store that it has come up with a great concept of Combining Existing Technologies. Today, in this blog is going to talk about the Sensor Fusion Technology.
Sensors are the devices that could detect any type of changes in the electrical or physical or other quantities in their surroundings, depending on their sensing nature and alerts about it.
Well, if we talk about Sensors, this technology has been inspired by the nature itself i.e. from sense organs of animals and humans. An animal recognizes its environment by the evaluation of signals from multiple and multifaceted sensors. And if we talk about humans, they combine signals from the five body senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) with knowledge of the environment to create and update a dynamic model of the world. This natural ability to fuse multi-sensory data has evolved to a high degree in many animal species and is in use for millions of years. Today the application of fusion concepts in technical areas has constituted a new discipline that spans over many fields of science.
Sensor technology is now being used to make a machine depicting a Human Being by combining a different sensors together. This technology that allows this to happen is Sensor Fusion, which leverages a microcontroller (a “brain”) to fuse the individual data collected from multiple sensors to get a more accurate and reliable view of the data than one would get by using the data from each discrete sensor on its own.
Sensor fusion is a software that intelligently combines data derived from disparate sources for the purpose of improving application or system performance. Combining data from multiple sensors corrects for the deficiencies of the individual sensors to calculate accurate position and orientation information.
Sensors are now being widely used in a variety of applications, like smart mobile devices, automotive systems, industrial control, healthcare, oil exploration and climate monitoring. All types of sensors can be classified into analog and digital sensors. Types of some commonly used sensors and their applications is as listed below
Temperature Sensor –
Devices which give temperature measurement as an electrical signal in the form of electrical voltage, is called as Temperature Sensor. Some examples of temperature sensors are: Thermistor, Thermocouple, and Resistance Thermometer and Silicon Band Gap Temperature sensors. These sensors are used in industries and laboratories for controlling the temperature
Infra-Red Sensor –
Electronic Sensor used for measuring the infrared light radiation emitted from objects in its field of view is called an IR Sensor or Pyro-electric Sensor (PIR). One most common example of it is Automatic Door Opening System. The other use of it is in remotes of TV, Air Conditioners and other such devices.
Ultrasonic Sensor –
Ultrasonic sensors work on similar principle as SONAR and RADIO i.e. interpretation of echoes from radio or sound waves to evaluate the attributes of a target by generating the high frequency sound waves. The typical use of this sensor is for measuring the distances of the inaccessible areas.
Touch Sensor –
Touch sensors can be defined as switches that are activated by the touch. There are different types of touch sensors that are classified based on type of touch such as capacitance touch switch, resistance touch switch, and peizo touch switch. The best example of such sensors is the Smartphone Devices with touch screen. Laptops are also being manufactured with touch screen.
Proximity Sensor –
Proximity sensors helps in detecting two types of physical nature:
- Presence or absence of an object
- The size or simple shape of an object.
Some present applications of it are parking sensors in the cars, conveyor systems, mobile devices, ground proximity warning system for aviation safety, sheet break sensing in paper machine, automatic faucets etc.
Pressure Sensor –
Pressure Sensor is a device that senses and measures pressure (usually of gases and liquids). The pressure sensor in electronic circuits is in the form of an integrated circuit that acts as a transducer, that is, it replicates the signal it receives as a function of imposed pressure.
Some of the uses of this sensor are altitude testing, force testing, leak testing, ratio metric correction of transducer output, flow sensing, etc.
Speed Sensors –
Speed Sensors are used to detect the speed of an object or vehicle. The different types of Speed sensors are Wheel Speed Sensors, speedometers, LIDAR, ground speed radar, Pitometer logs, Doppler radar, air speed indicator and much more.
Project involving speed synchronization of multiple motors is the most popular use of this sensor. These sensors are used as speed controllers across various industries like Industrial (Mixers, Conveyors, Compressors etc.), Rail (traction control, speed control etc.), Petrochemical (Steam Turbines, Fans and Blowers etc.), Marine (Propulsion Control Systems, Fire Pump, Bilge Pump etc.) and more such areas.
Smoke and Gas Sensors –
These sensors detect a lot of gas particles and turns the electricity supply on. It can be used to detect the presence of Carbon Monoxide gas. Smoke alarms and Gas alarms work on the same principle. In a fire many gas particles are created and trigger the gas sensor so the fire alarm sounds.
The most common use of it is in the form of Smoke Detectors in Offices and homes.
Wireless Sensor Network
These Sensors when connected to Wi-Fi and combined together to work as one system they are referred as Wireless Sensor Network. The development of wireless sensor networks was motivated by military applications such as battlefield surveillance; today such networks are used in many industrial and consumer applications, such as industrial process monitoring and control, machine health monitoring, and so on. Some of the applications of Wireless Sensor Network are as follows:
- Area Monitoring – deployed in the area where some phenomenon is to be monitored.
- Health care monitoring – it could have two types of devices, wearable and implanted.
- Air Pollution Monitoring – this system has been deployed in many cities to monitor the concentration of dangerous gases for citizens.
- Landslide Detection – It is a system which detects slight movements of soil and changes in various parameters that may occur before or during the landslide.
- Data Center Monitoring – Due to high amounts of data, often cabling and IP Addresses are an issue. To overcome that problem more and more racks are fitted out with wireless temperature sensors to monitor temperatures of racks.
- Wine Production – Sensor networks are used to monitor wine production for both in fields and cellar processes.
Hence this was just a brief about the sensors and sensor fusion technology. And if we talk about Amazon Store then the wait will be soon over. The wait to know how the technology is working in there.