You are on page 1of 2


A transducer is a device, electrical, electronic, electro-mechanical, electromagnetic,

photonic, or photovoltaic, that converts one type of energy or physical attribute to another
for various purposes including measurement or information transfer (for example:
pressure sensors).

There are three kinds of transducers: sensors, actuators, and a combination of the two. A
sensor is used to detect a parameter in one form and report it in another form of energy
(usually an electrical or digital signal), such as a tachometer. An actuator is used for the
transformation of energy or in other words, actuator is the one which gets actuated or
stands responsible for the output action, in that it converts electrical signal into generally
nonelectrical energy. An example of an actuator is a loudspeaker which converts an
electrical signal into a variable magnetic field and, subsequently, into acoustic waves.
The third kind of transducer has both functions -- for example, a typical ultrasonic
transducer switches back and forth many times a second between acting as an actuator to
produce ultrasonic waves, and acting as a sensor to detect ultrasonic waves.

Types of transducers
• Electromagnetic:
o Antenna - converts electromagnetic waves into electric current and vice
o Cathode ray tube (CRT) - converts electrical signals into visual form
o Fluorescent lamp, light bulb - converts electrical power into visible light
o Magnetic cartridge - converts motion into electrical form
o Photodetector or Photoresistor (LDR) - converts changes in light levels
into resistance changes
o Tape head - converts changing

Smart transducer
As sensors and actuators become more complex they provide support for various modes
of operation and interfacing. Some applications require additionally Fault-tolerance and
Distributed computing. Such high-level functionality can be achieved by adding an
embedded Microcontroller to the classical sensor/actuator, which increases the ability to
cope with complexity at a fair price. This integration of an analog or digital sensor or
actuator, a processing unit, and a communication

Transducers are sensors and actuators in order that a computer system can interact with
the physical environment. In 1982, Ko and Fung introduced the term “intelligent
transducer” [1]. An intelligent or smart transducer is the integration of an analog or
digital sensor or actuator element, a processing unit, and a communication interface. In
case of a sensor, the smart transducer transforms the raw sensor signal to a standardized
digital representation, checks and calibrates the signal, and transmits this digital signal to
its users via a standardized communication protocol [2]. In case of an actuator, the smart
transducer accepts standardized commands and transforms these into control signals for
the actuator.interface is referred to as smart Transducer.