Arduino Sensor – Types and Applications

When an electronic hobbyists start designing any project, the main concern factor would be the compatibility issue between hardware and the available software IDEs. Invented around the 2000s, Arduino came as an answer for such issues. Arduino is the product of effort put forth by a group of Italian postgraduates and a lecturer at the interaction design institute in Ivrea. This microcontroller is named after the 11th-century Italian king Arduin of Ivrea. The crucial factor in the success of this microcontroller platform is its Open-Source nature. With the success of this project, later many new products were designed which are compatible with this platform such as Arduino sensor.

What is Arduino Sensor?


Because of its open-source nature, Arduino has become a global phenomenon. It evolved as a prototyping platform for hobbyist, artist, designers and more importantly to the students who are new to the world of electronics projects.

Arduino comes with a microcontroller and a software IDE to upload the code into the hardware board. Seeing the popularity of Arduino among hobbyist many sensors which are compatible with Arduino were launched.

There are various types of Arduino sensors available in the market. These sensors help Arduino to interact with the surroundings and for designing new applications.

Working Principle

The microcontrollers that came before Arduino don’t have a software IDE for uploading code into the hardware. One had to use a separate hardware device to upload the code into the hardware. Due to this flexibility feature, it is easy to interface sensors with Arduino.

As the microcontroller already provides a software IDE for programming the only hardware required to interface these sensors with Arduino are the Breadboard and connecting wires.


Code can be written in Arduino IDE and uploaded. Power supply, ground, breadboard, and connecting wires are required for interfacing.

Applications of Arduino Sensor

There are many projects designed using Arduino sensor for various applications. Arduino is said to be used to make a dream idea into reality.

The ultrasonic module is used for non-contact range detection. It makes use of sonar for its working. IR Infrared obstacle avoidance sensor detects objects which are before it and generates a digital signal. It is used in robots.

Soil hygrometer is a soil moisture sensor. It generates a digital signal when the moisture in the soil increases above some threshold value. The automatic self-watering plant is designed using this sensor with Arduino. Microscope sensor is used to detect the sound. It generates a signal when the intensity of detected sound increases beyond some threshold value.

Digital Barometric pressure sensor is used to measure the absolute pressure of the environment. Hight of the robot or projectile can be measured using this sensor. For light detection, the Photoresistor sensor module is used. Night security light system uses this sensor with Arduino. The temperature sensor is used to detect ambient temperature.

To detect the poisonous gases such as LPG, i- Butane, Propane, Alcohol, etc… MQ-2 gas sensor is used. The rain sensor is used for weather monitoring. To detect flame and the ordinary light Flame sensor is used. PIR sensor is used to detect motion from humans and pets.

Touch screen sensor is used for designing Touch dimmer circuit using Arduino.

Examples of Arduino Sensor

There are many types of Arduino sensors available today. Some of them are –

  • HC- SR04 Ultrasonic Module
  • IR Infrared Obstacle Avoidance sensor
  • Soil Hygrometer Detection Module
  • Soil Moisture Sensor
  • Microphone sensor
  • Digital Barometric Pressure Sensor
  • Photoresistor sensor
  • Digital thermal sensor – Temperature sensor
  • Rotary Encoder Module
  • MQ-2 Gas sensor
  • SW-420 Motion sensor
  • Humidity and Rain Detection  sensor
  • Passive Buzzer Module
  • Speed sensor Module
  • IR Infrared Flame Detection sensor
  • 5V 2- Channel Relay module
  • Breadboard Power Supply Module 3.3V
  • HC- SR501 Pyroelectric Infrared Sensor
  • Accelerometer Module
  • DHT11 Temperature and Humidity sensor
  • RF 433MHz Transmitter/Receiver

These Arduino sensors made the implementation of many electronic projects possible. Some of the examples of such projects are Suntracker using LDR with Arduino, Arduino rainwater alarm, Accelerometer-based gesture-controlled Robot with Arduino, IR sensor-based line follower, IR sensor-based motion-sensing alarm,  Door alarm using the ultrasonic sensor, Distance measurement using the ultrasonic sensor, Arduino based smart blind stick, PIR sensor for home appliances control using Arduino, etc…

Arduino is the first choice for students and people new to electronics to design a new project. Arduino sensors can be used with other microcontrollers as well. Arduino IDE contains various libraries useful to interface different types of sensors. The only exceptions are the sensors that require more processing speed than the Arduino can provide. How many sensors can you interface at a time on a single Arduino board?