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Difference between Sensor and Transducer
Sensors and transducers are extensively used in the electrical and electronic instruments to measure different physical quantities. However, there are many differences between a sensor and a transducer that we will discuss in this article. But, before getting into the differences, let's get an overview of what sensors and transducers are, so that it becomes easier to understand how they differ from each other.
What is a Sensor?
A sensor is a device that detects any physical quantity such as pressure, light, heat, temperature, humidity, etc. from the outside environment and responds according to the input to produce a desired output in a format that is easy to read for the user.
The output produced by a sensor is an electric signal that can be either converted to human readable form by a display or transmitted over a network or supplied to a processing device, etc. Some common examples of sensors are temperature sensor, pressure sensor, humidity sensor, proximity sensor, photo sensor, motion sensor, etc.
What is a Transducer?
A device that is used for transforming energy from one form to another form is known as transducer.
The transducer can also be used for the transformation of a non-electrical physical quantity into an electric signal. The major components of a transducer are input device, processing device and output device. The process of conversion of energy from one form to another in a transducer is known as transduction. Where, the transduction is complete in following two steps −
It first senses the input signal,
Strengthen the input signal for further processing to produce output.
In case of a transducer, the input device of the transducer measures the physical quantity and then transfers an analog signal proportional to the physical quantity to the processing device. The processing device (or conditioning device) modifies, filters or attenuates the analog signal so that it can be accepted by the output device.
Generally, transducers are used for conversion of different types of energies such as mechanical energy, light energy, acoustic energy, thermal energy, electromagnetic energy, etc. Some common examples of transducers are microphone, light bulb, loud speaker, etc.
Difference between Sensor and Transducer
Sensors and transducers are used in electrical and electronic instruments for the measurement of physical quantities. However, there are many differences between them that are listed in the following table −
|Basis of Difference||Sensor||Transducer|
|Definition||A sensor is a device which converts the physical parameter of a quantity into corresponding electrical output.||A transducer is a device that transforms energy from one form to another, such as speed into electrical signal.|
|Main components||A sensor does not have any other component except itself.||The components of a transducer are − input device (sensor), processing device (signal conditioning), and output device.|
|Dependency||All the sensors are not transducers.||A sensor is the part of all the transducers.|
|Complexity||A sensor is less complicated in its construction and processing.||Transducer is a relatively more complex device because it involves the transformation of energy from one form to another.|
|Function||A sensor detects the change in the physical parameter of quantity to produce corresponding electrical signal.||Transducer converts the energy into a different form.|
|Feedback||Sensor does not provide any feedback to the system. Which means, it only measures the change in the physical quantity and cannot give input to the system on its own.||Transducer generally provides a feedback to the system through the output device after processing.|
|Examples||Common examples of sensor are: temperature sensor, photo sensor, proximity sensor, etc.||Examples of transducers are: strain gauge, microphone, loud speaker, piezoelectric element, etc.|
The most significant difference between a sensor and a transducer is that a sensor is a device that senses any physical change in the parameter of a quantity to produce a corresponding electric signal, while a transducer converts the energy from one form to another.
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