Weekly Journal/Sensor Walk (Will Knowlton)

I kept my eye out for sensors that might not get as much attention as the card scanners, soap dispensers,  and automatic doors that we encounter in our daily life.

One example of some cool sensors I encountered this weekend was in a friend’s car. He has a 2012 Infiniti fx45, with lane keeping assist and parking sensors and cameras. Essentially, there are little cameras under the door mirrors which watch for the road lines, and when they detect that the car has crossed the road lines into oncoming traffic, the car will begin to beep.The display on the center console will show a warning symbol when this occurs. Another feature is that since the car has cameras at all four corners of the vehicle, it can display a real time image of the car on the vehicle’s center console screen. It appears as if you are viewing an aerial image of the vehicle by the way it stitches the information from all the cameras.

The Infiniti also had parking sensors like almost every new car has today. It uses proximity sensors that are not so fashionably dotted along the back bumper. The sensors send out acoustic waves, and wait for feedback when they bounce off nearby objects. The faster the waves bounce back, the closer the object. A rear view camera also displays the car’s rear surroundings when in reverse gear, on the center console screen.

A second example of a cool sensor was in my own car. My car has key-less entry and key-less start. To enter and start the car, the “key” which is pictured below just has to be in your pocket. You can press the little black button on the door handle which unlocks it. Then to start, you can set the key anywhere in the car and turn the start switch.


A third example of a unique sensor is my digital oral thermometer for taking your body temperature.  After researching on line, an electronic thermometer like mine pictured below, applies a voltage through the metal probe, then a microchip inside the device measures the current that flows through the probe, which calculates resistance, which then gets converted to temperature. Digital Thermometerimg_0379

Will Knowlton


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