How Sensors and Actuators Optimize Device Operations

Sensor and actuators complement each other and add a degree of intelligence to the system in which they are incorporated. 

FREMONT, CA: The intelligence and value gained from the internet of things (IoT) network depend on what can be learned from the data. Sensors and actuators are the primary sources of IoT data. According to Mouser Electronics, sensors and actuators allow us to understand what is happening in the physical environment of the network. The readings can be sent to software algorithms that will assist the algorithms in computing results. Actuators can use the computations to facilitate changes back in the physical world. Usually, such networks are closed-loop, implying that the physical parameter that is being controlled by an actuator is immediately read back into the system with the aid of a sensor. Thus, IoT sensors and actuators complement each other in a way that optimizes the operations of a system.

The addition of actuators in computer networks requires enhanced monitoring systems due to the level of control they can have on physical components. In case actuators are used in sensitive systems, operators need to ensure that data integrity and security is not compromised. Focusing on data exchange, the process requiring IoT sensors and actuators can comprise a number of complicated steps as well as components for the purpose. Most actuators include types of transducers that allow conversion of one form of energy to another. For instance, nearly all actuators in IoT systems read electrical signals and convert them into some sort of physical output with the help of transducers. The physical parameters can include various analytical terminologies of physics such as power, current, resistance, frequency, force, tension, pressure, flow, and others. 

IoT sensors work with a transducers as well as a signal processing chain to provide the networked computers with raw readings. Usually, the transducers comprise a raw sensing element that produces a modest analog signal. Such signal mist passes via a signal processing chain that filters amplify and converts the raw signal to a format that can be utilized by the control computers and their software. Alternatively, actuators take digital outputs from the control computers and deliver the same to the transducers through an interface. 

IoT sensors and actuators enable the IoT device network to interact, thereby enabling the system to operate in an intelligent fashion.