What is an Optical Encoder?
An optical encoder is a device that converts motion or position into a digital signal by detecting changes in light. It typically consists of a rotating disc that has evenly spaced slots or markings on it, and a light source and sensor that read these slots or markings as the disc rotates.
How does an Optical Encoder work?
As the disc rotates, the light source shines through the slots or markings and the sensor detects the changes in light intensity which are then converted into electrical signals. These signals are then processed to determine the speed, direction, and position of the rotating disc.
Optical Encoder Uses & Applications
Optical encoders are commonly used in a wide range of industrial, commercial and consumer applications, such as robotics, CNC machines, printers, and cameras. Although magnetic encoders have come a long way on resolution and accuracy, optical encoders are usually preferred where higher resolutions and increased precision are required.