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Comparing the effectiveness of a light sensor and a touch sensorFeatured science projectScience project video

Materials

The materials required for the experiment:

-    A conveyor belt
-    A light sensor
-    A touch sensor
-    2 electronic counters
-    100 boxes
-    A stopwatch

Procedure

1.    For this experiment, the independent variable is the speed of the conveyor belt and the type of sensor used – touch sensor or light sensor. The dependent variable is the number of boxes counted. This is determined by observing and recording the counter readings. The constants (control variables) are the number of boxes and the length of the conveyer belt.

2.    The touch sensor and the light sensor are installed onto the conveyor belt. One counter is connected to each sensor. The counter will be used to count the number of boxes that pass the sensors on the conveyor.

3.    The touch sensor and the counter connected to it is switched on. The 100 boxes are placed in a row on the conveyor belt. If the conveyor belt is too short, the boxes are placed on the conveyor belt as it moves. The speed of the conveyor belt is set to 2 meters per-minute and the number of boxes detected by the sensor are recorded. The results are shown in the table below.

4.    Procedure 3 is repeated and the speed of the conveyor belt is increased to 5 meters per-minute and 8 meters per-minute. The number of boxes that were detected by the sensor and counted by the counter is recorded in the table given below.

5.    Procedures 4 and 5 are repeated using the light sensor and the number of boxes that were detected by the sensor is recorded in the table given below.
 

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
50
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for observation
Material availability:
Sensors and electronic counters may be purchased from hobby stores. Access to a conveyor belt is required.
Safety concerns:

None