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Tech Talk

What Is A Transducer?

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transducer is a device that converts energy from one form to another. Usually a transducer converts a signal in one form of energy to a signal in another

Transducers are often employed at the boundaries of automation, measurement, and control systems, where electrical signals are converted to and from other physical quantities (energy, force, torque, light, motion, position, etc.). The process of converting one form of energy to another is known as transduction.

Sensors and actuators[edit]

Transducers can be categorized by which direction information passes through them:

  • A sensor is a transducer that receives and responds to a signal or stimulus from a physical system. It produces a signal, which represents information about the system, which is used by some type of telemetry, information or control system.

  • An actuator is a device that is responsible for moving or controlling a mechanism or system. It is controlled by a signal from a control system or manual control. It is operated by a source of energy, which can be mechanical force, electrical current, hydraulic fluid pressure, or pneumatic pressure, and converts that energy into motion. An actuator is the mechanism by which a control system acts upon an environment. The control system can be simple (a fixed mechanical or electronic system), software-based (e.g. a printer driver, robot control system), a human, or any other input.

  • Bidirectional transducers convert physical phenomena to electrical signals and also convert electrical signals into physical phenomena. An example of an inherently bidirectional transducer is an antenna, which can convert radio waves (electromagnetic waves) into an electrical signal to be processed by a radio receiver, or translate an electrical signal from a transmitter into radio waves. Another example is voice coils, which are used in loudspeakers to translate an electrical audio signal into sound and in dynamic microphones to translate sound waves into an audio signal

Source: Wikipedia