Next generation sensors will make intelligent decisions in complex situations

Honeywell SMART position sensors

Sensors are not just becoming smarter, they are becoming intelligent. The difference is simple, but the potential for thousands of products is huge.

Accident prevention

Take accident prevention for example. Intelligent Micro-Electro-Mechanical Sensors (MEMS) could enable pre-crash systems by using wheel sensors to measure vehicle speed, and radar or laser sensors to monitor the distance to vehicles or other objects in front and to the side of the car. If a possible impact is detected the central control uses the information supplied by each sensor to ‘decide’ the best response such as warning the driver to slow down, automatically reducing the speed, or preparing the vehicle for an imminent impact. This could mean triggering pre-tensioners on the seat-belts and combining information on the type and position of impact, with information on the positions of the driver and passengers to ‘decide’ which airbags to trigger.

MEMS sensors will make intelligent sensing a cost-effective reality for many applications, enabling products to make functional decisions based on multiple factors in complex situations.

Intelligent sensing 

Intelligent sensing is made possible by MEMS’ ability to integrate multiple sensing technologies and advanced processing algorithms into a single, silicon device. Intelligent MEMS sensors can take products beyond the six degrees of freedom (6DoF) used by the current generation of smart phones, to enable nine or even 12 degrees of freedom. This could make a significant difference to virtually any sensing application, such as precision control of the robotics on an automated production line, the intensity of the virtual-reality gaming experience, or to the accuracy and effectiveness of medical monitors and analysers.

By combining high levels of integration with the cost benefits of mass production, MEMS sensors can integrate an ASIC for control, with on-board compensation and I2C for communications. They can also integrate different sensing technologies such as an accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass and temperature sensor into a single package.

Acal BFi, in partnership with leading MEMS manufacturers, can help you to find a standard, state-of-the-art MEMS sensor, or design and manufacture a fully custom MEMS sensor, which will enable your product to go beyond smart and make intelligent decisions even in the most complex situations.

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