Robot Tutorials current sensor

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

Current sensing is as it says - sensing the amount of current in use by a particular circuit or device. If you want to know the amount of power being used for any robot component, current sensing is the way to go. Current sensing is not a typical application in robotics. Most robots would never need a current sensing ability. Current sensing is a

Robot Tutorials current sensor
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way for a robot to measure it`s internal state and rarely required to explore the outside world. It is useful for a robot builder to better understand power use of the various components within a robot. Sensing can be done for DC motors, circuits, or servos to measure actuator power requirements. It can be done for things like microcontrollers to measure power performance in different situations. It can be useful for things like robot battery monitors. And lastly, robot hand grasp detection devices and collision detection. For example, if the current use suddenly increases, that means a physical object is causing resistance. This device is somewhat expensive as it ranges in the hundreds, but they are very common and you can easily find one available in any typical university lab. These devices are a must for any electrical engineer or robot builder. Operation of this device should be straigtforward. Apply a voltage to your component, and it will quickly give a readout of the current you are drawing. Although this takes seconds and little effort to do, there are a few disadvantages to this method. The first disadvantage is that it is not highly accurate. Usually they can only measure in increments rounded off to the nearest 10mA. This is fine for high powered applications where an extra 5mA does not matter, but for low current draw devices this can be an issue. The next disadvantage is timing. A benchtop power supplies only...

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