A Sensor is a device that detects events or changes in quantities and provides a corresponding output, generally as an electrical or optical signal; for example, a thermocouple converts temperature to an output voltage. But a mercury-in-glass thermometer is also a sensor; it converts the measured temperature into expansion and contraction of a liquid which can be read on a calibrated glass tube.
Sensors are used in everyday objects such as touch-sensitive elevator buttons (tactile sensor) and lamps which dim or brighten by touching the base, besides innumerable applications of which most people are never aware. With advances inmicromachinery and easy-to-use microcontroller platforms, the uses of sensors have expanded beyond the more traditional fields of temperature, pressure or flow measurement,for example into MARG sensors. Moreover, analog sensors such as potentiometers and force-sensing resistors are still widely used. Applications include manufacturing and machinery, airplanes and aerospace, cars, medicine and robotics.