Comparing Tilt Sensors and Position Sensors

There is a whole world of sensors out there. Each has a function of its own, although they share similar attributes at times. In this article, we will have a brief discussion regarding tilt sensors. This is also a comparison to position sensors. Check out to learn more about these devices.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let us define what a sensor is. It is an instrument that responds to a certain type of input from the environment. A sensor can react to heat, light, moisture, motion, pressure, or temperature. There are other factors that they can respond to, but these are some of the common ones. This description then leads us to the first item in our list.


  1. Function. Both tilt and position sensors measure movement. The difference is that tilt measures angular movement, hence its name. Position sensors measure linear movement instead. Also, tilt sensors measure the slope and tilt within a limited range of motion. They are sometimes known as inclinometers.  
  2. Suitable conditions. Gone are the days of limited capability. The potentiometer, although popular, is now going out of favour due to its major limitations. It cannot withstand harsh conditions, which both tilt and position sensors can do. Tilt and position sensors can work underground or underwater. An example of the latter is the submersible tilt sensor. It can provide a quick assessment of the slope it measures. It can also go as deep as 3,500 metres and still give an impressive performance. Its position sensor counterpart is the submersible displacement sensor. It is helpful in deep sea oil drilling, as well as detecting leaks in larger machines or engines.
  3. Usage. Due to their ability to endure extreme environments, both sensors are useful in many ways. Tilt and position sensors can function on land, water, and air. They are valuable in the following industries: aerospace, agriculture medical, military and robotics.

What sets the tilt sensor apart is its use in toys and gadgets. An example is the all-too-familiar video game controller. The tilt sensor is also used in cameras and other appliances.

Another thing that makes a tilt sensor unique is that you can make one yourself. It is common to build one for an electronics class. If you want to create a tilt sensor because of curiosity, there are videos available online to help you do so. This confirms that they are small, low-cost, and uncomplicated to use.

Both tilt and position sensors prove technological innovation. They show that man has addressed the faults of previous models. Although the potentiometer is still used, engineers are starting not to prefer them.

They would rather recommend non-contact alternatives. Despite these durable and stronger sensors, not all have converted to using them. The main reasons are cost and the change from analogue to digital output. That will take engineers time to address, clearly with some financial cost involved.

Considering this new generation of sensors will mean better and longer-lasting machines.