EE's June Technology Insights: Sensors open new vistas in electronics

Whether they are analog or digital, sensors are playing increasingly important roles in electronics. Some of the more commonly used sensors include touch, proximity, temperature, infrared, ultrasonic, pressure, level, and smoke. As technology progresses, sensors are taking on new attributes, such as the ability to “see” firefighters in burning buildings, “smell” and “taste”, and much more. And if you want to learn about the latest cutting-edge sensor technology, stop by the Sensors Expo during June in San Jose, where Evaluation Engineering will be in attendance.

Groundbreaking smart sensor “tastes” and “sniffs”

Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, have developed an innovative sensing system Dr. Min Zhang and Prof. Hossam Haick, American Technion SocietyDr. Min Zhang and Prof. Hossam Haick, American Technion SocietyTechnioncapable of identifying and distinguishing different stimuli. The system is based on origami (the art of paper folding) combined with ink developed at Technion. The research was led by Professor Hossam Haick of the Technion’s Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering and the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, and Dr. Min Zhang, an associate professor at East China Normal University. The challenge facing the researchers was to develop a single system sensitive enough to identify and distinguish among different stimuli. They say they developed a solution inspired by nature. The system developed by Haick and Zhang, called “origami hierarchical sensor array”, is an integrated array of grouped sensors written on the target object in conductive ink that the two scientists developed.1

Sensor ‘sees’ firefighters in burning buildings

McMaster University researchers, in partnership with other universities, have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the locations of firefighters, steelworkers, miners, and others who work in high-risk environments where they are not always visible. The low-cost sensor is about the size of a coin and can easily be inserted into the sole of a boot or under the arm of a jacket—wherever motion creates a pattern of constant contact and release to generate the power the sensor needs to operate. The key material in the sensor—a new carbon aerogel nanocomposite—is fireproof, and the device never needs charging from a power source.2

High-performance angular rate sensor

The miniature ARS PRO angular rate sensor by DTS is designed to capture precision angular rate data, even in high-energy environments including blast protection and crash testing. The silicon-based MEMS resonating gyro is packaged in a rugged The miniature DTS ARS PRO sensor delivers reliable angular velocity data in high shock and vibration test environments.The miniature DTS ARS PRO sensor delivers reliable angular velocity data in high shock and vibration test environments.aluminum enclosure, weighs only 2.2 grams and can be positioned near the point of interest without altering test dynamics. Featuring DC response, shunt check capabilities and high output voltage, the single-axis sensor delivers reliability and repeatability with every test. DTS offers full-scale ranges from ±300 to ±50000 deg/sec and bandwidths up to 2000 Hz, fully supporting CFC 180 and 1000 testing requirements. The ARS HG is shock-rated to 10000 G, and features reinforced mounting points for applications like high-rate ballistics testing. DTS also offers a triaxial model (ARS3 PRO) as well as a compact six degrees of freedom package (6DX PRO) for measuring high-rate acceleration and angular velocity.

Sensors Expo set for June 25-27 in San Jose

Sensors Expo & Conference is the industry's largest event dedicated to sensors, connectivity, and systems. More than 7,000 engineers and engineering professionals are expected June 25-27 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA and discover the latest products and technologies from suppliers that are continuously transforming the industry through demand and innovation. There are preconference symposia, conference technical sessions across 10 updated tracks, keynote presentations, networking events, exhibits, and more.

Report: Wearable materials market $2.9B by 2023

The wearable materials market size is projected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2018 to $2.9 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 15.0% between 2018 and 2023, according to a recent research report published by MarketsandMarkets,. Consumer demand for sophisticated devices, the growing popularity of connected devices, and increasing disposable income are considered driving forces in the market. Volatility in raw material prices and lack of durable, supple materials restrain the growth of the wearable materials market.3


1. American Technion Society, “Super Sensitive, Groundbreaking Smart Sensors “Tastes” and “Sniffs”, March 2019.
2. McMaster University, “McMaster engineers create a fireproof sensor to track firefighters, miners, oil workers in high-risk situations,” March 2019.
3. MarketsandMarkets, “Wearable Materials Market by Application (Consumer Electronics, Medical, Industrial), Type (Silicones, Polyurethanes, Fluoroelastomers), Region (APAC, North America, Europe, South America,and Middle East & Africa)—Global Forecast to 2023,” January 2019.

More in Machine Vision