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• Bautista Tenjhay Jesús Andrés
• Zamudio Quintanar Luis
• Ramírez Nava Luis Ángel
Sensor definition
Why using a sensor in robotics?
General Classification of sensors in robotics
Proprioceptive Sensors
Exteroceptive Sensors
Light Sensors
Sound Sensors
Proximity Sensors
Tactile Sensors
Temperature Sensors
Navigation and Positioning Sensors
Acceleration Sensors

Sensors are devices that make robots

interesting, because without them robots
would be only automatic systems.
Using sensors, robots can work in
unstructured environments and adapt to
the environment changes around them.
With the sensors implementation, the
robots can work in dangerous places
where the human can't access.

In robotics, the sensors are to make it all

What is a sensor?

A sensor is a device that receives a stimulus

and responds with an electrical signal.[1]
The stimulus is the quantity, property, or
condition that is sensed and converted into
electrical signal.
Thus, sensors' purpose is to measure
any physical signal and convert this in
an electrical signal.

We may say that a sensor is a translator

of a nonelectrical value (commonly)
into an electrical value.

This electrical value can be voltage,

current or charge.
Voltage, current and charge can be
described in terms of amplitude,
frequency, phase, or digital code. This
set of characteristics is called the output
signal format. Therefore, a sensor has
input properties and electrical output
A sensor is part of a larger system that
contains other detectors, memory
devices, data recorders, actuators, signal
conditioners and signal processors.
Stimulus types
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Why do robots need
To design a robot is necessary to
recognize the environment, without
this, it would only be an automatic
Sensors give to robots capabilities so
that they are more human-like. Thus,
the robots can see, touch, hear and
General classification of
sensors in robotics.

This classification is for robot’s control, and

include position sensors, velocity sensors,
torque and acceleration sensors, The
proprioceptive sensors give the current
internal state of the robot.
Exteroceptive sensors

Allow the robot to interact with the

environment in which it performs, for
example for robot guidance, obstacle
identification, monitoring. Exteroceptive
sensors include tactile sensors, force and
torque sensors, proximity sensors, range
sensors, vision sensors and others.

Sensors are defined by various properties

that describe their capabilities:
• Sensitivity: Variation of the output
produced by an input variation.
• Linearity: Constancy of output and input.
• Response Time: Time required for a
change in input to force a change in the
• Measurement/Dynamic range: Range of
values ​of the input magnitude between the
maximum and the minimum detectable by
a sensor, with an acceptable error
• Accuracy: difference between the
measured and actual value.
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• Repeatability; Difference between repeated

• Precision: Ability to obtain the same output
when several readings of the same input
are made and under the same conditions.
• Resolution: Minimum difference between
two nearby values ​that the sensor is able to
Light Sensors
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A light sensor detects light and creates a

difference in voltage. The two main light
sensors generally used in robots
are Photoresistor and Photovoltaic cells.
Other kinds of light sensors like
Phototubes, Phototransistors and CCD’s
are rarely used.
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A photoresistor is a type of resistor
whose resistance varies with light
intensity changes; more light leads to
less resistance, and less light leads to
more resistance. They can be easily
implemented in light-dependent robots.
Photovoltaic cells
Photovoltaic cells convert solar
radiation into electricity. This is
especially helpful when planning a
solar robot. While the photovoltaic cell
is considered as an energy source, a
smart implementation combined with
transistors and capacitors can convert
this into a sensor.
Sound Sensor

As the name suggests, this sensor

(generally a microphone) detects
sound and returns a voltage
proportional to the sound level.
A simple robot can be designed to
navigate based on the sound it
Imagine a robot which
turns right for one clap
and turns left for two

Complex robots can

use the same
microphone for speech
and voice recognition.
Proximity Sensor

This is a type of sensor which can detect the

presence of a nearby object within a given
distance, without any physical contact. The
working principle of a Proximity sensor is
simple. A transmitter transmits an
electromagnetic radiation or creates an
electrostatic field and a receiver receives and
analyzes the return signal for interruptions.
Infrared (IR) transceiver:
An IR LED transmits a beam of IR light and if
it finds an obstacle, the light is simply
reflected back which is captured by an IR
receiver. Few IR transceivers can also be
used for distance measurement.
Ultrasonic Sensor:
These sensors generate
sound waves at high
frequencies; the received
echo indicates an object is
interrupted. Ultrasound
sensors can also be used
for distance
Standard applications

There are different types and designs, all with

the same purpose, they can be very different
from each other depending on the application
for which they are intended and the
conditions in which they have to work.
Mechanics Piezo
Capacitive resistives
Piezoelectric Thermal

Photoresistor is a light sensor, but it can still

be used as a sensor of proximity. If an object
approaches the sensor, the number of light
changes, which changes the resistance of the
Photoresistor. This is detectable and
Tactile Sensors:

Tactile Sensor is a device

which specifies an object’s contact.

Are often used in everyday objects for

example elevator buttons and lamps, which
dim or brighten by touching the base,
 Touch Sensor and Force Sensor.
a) Touch Sensor or Contact Sensor:

Some of the commonly used devices are

micro-switches, limit switches, etc.

They are used to detect the end of the

path or the limited posisition of
mechanical components
Force Sensor: 

Force sensor is included in calculating

the forces of several functions, such as
machine loading & unloading, material
handling, performed by a robot.

The applications are extensive.

 End of career in linear actuators

 Avoid obstacles
 Robots pick and place
Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors are used to detect the

temperature change. It is based on the principle of
different voltage change for a temperature
change; this voltage change will provide the
surrounding temperature equivalent.
Types of temperature sensors:

 Thermistors:
Its operation is based on the variation of
the resistivity presented by a
semiconductor with temperature.

 Thermal resistances
Its resistance is modified and the
magnitude of this is related to the
temperature variation.

Temperature sensing applications include:

 air temperature,
 surface temperature,
 immersion temperature.
Navigation and Positioning Sensors

Positioning sensors are used to give the

position of a robot. The usual positioning
sensor is a GPS (Global Positioning System)
Acceleration Sensors

An accelerometer is a device for measuring

acceleration and inclination through the
variation in speed per unit of time.
Types of accelerometers

There are different types and designs, all with

the same purpose, they can be very different
from each other depending on the application
for which they are intended and the
conditions in which they have to work.
Mechanics Piezo
Capacitive resistives
Piezoelectric Thermal

[1] J. Fraden, Handbook of modern sensors : physics, designs, and applications,

3rd ed. New York: Aip, 2004, pp. 1–9.
[2] AZoRobotics, “Sensors in Robotics,”, 10-Jan-2019.
[Online]. Available:
[Accessed: 26-Jan-2020].
[3] H. R. Everett, Sensors for mobile robots : theory and application, 2nd ed.
Wellesley, Mass.: Peters, 2001, pp. 1–4.