Sensor Walk (Alexandra E. Morton)

There are plenty of sensors on campus: bathroom sinks (motion), toilets (motion or lever), hand-sanitizer/soap dispensers (motion), paper towel dispensers (motion), elevators (motion and button), water fountains (motion and button), handicap doors (button), and card-activated doors (radio-frequency-identification[RFID]). And that still leaves plenty out.

Two that really caught my attention was the Townhouse RA Office/Laundry Room door and the Library Entrance.

The door to the Laundry Room is much like other residential doors in that is use the RFID in our Student IDs to unlock the door. It caught my attention because it is set up in a way that, even though it’s not a push-pull door, allows a person entering the building to enter after scanning their ID without needing to turn the handle (very convenient for those juggling full laundry hampers). It achieves this by having the RFID scanner attached to a box-like trap, where the side towards the inside of the building becomes movable after a valid ID is sensed. Otherwise, the side is locked in place and the door handle on the outside always remains locked, disallowing entry.

The Library, meanwhile, has folding doors that open automatically when motion is sense. The doors also have a switch to manually turn off the doors, or keep them propped open, from the inside. Additionally, mounted above the door’s motion sensor is another motion sensor. This sensor, rather than triggering the doors, is connected to a counting device on the inside – allowing the Library to keep track of how many patrons come inside during business hours.


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