How Automatic Doors Work?

History of automatic doors

According to Wikipedia:

In 1931, engineers Horace H. Raymond and Sheldon S. Roby of the tool and hardware manufacturer Stanley Works designed the first model of an optical device triggering the opening of an automatic door. The invention was patented and installed in Wilcox’s Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut for the benefit of waiters carrying plates of food and drink. The entire system plus installation was sold for $100”.

But the concept and application of automatic doors had not been picked up by the mass population until the glory Star Trek phenomenon. In many episodes, you would notice, doors seem to know when our stars want to go through them, and they never open by accident when someone is just walking by. Also, they are never be in the way when a character is running towards them at full speed (Try this at the mall and see what happens!)

Automatic door structure

An automatic door is a closing or opening structure that is used to restrict access to an entrance through the use of automated technology. They include automatic swinging, folding, rotating and sliding doors.

The most important things that make the whole automation possible are a sensor and operator.

How sensors work?

Sensors do exactly what they sound like they’d do: they sense things. There are many different types of sensors that can sense different types of things, such as sound, light, weight, and motion.

For example, some automatic doors operate when they’re triggered by sensors that sense weight. These weight sensors might be disguised in a rubber mat in front of the door. When you step on the mat, the sensors send a signal to the automatic doors that tells them to open. Other automatic doors operate on optic or motion sensors. These sensors might be mounted above a set of automatic doors or built on the top or the sides of the frame of the automatic doors. When these optic or motion sensors sense motion nearby, they trigger the automatic doors to open and then close. This is why, when you approach a set of automatic doors, they will open as soon as you get close enough to activate the sensors.

Concerns of automatic doors

As automatic doors cannot be controlled by the people passing through them, they may get injured or harmed if the sensors fail and close on them. To prevent this from happening, multiple sensors are often installed to detect if there is an object in between the doors.

Thanks to the multiple sensors installed we don’t have to worry about getting closed on. Having automatic doors is a step further into the future where everything is slowly becoming automated.


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