Remote control is an important tool with many functions that help us in controlling several electronic devices such as TV, air conditioner, video games, or even toy cars and robots, etc. At present, it’s being used to control cameras and drones. But how does a remote control work? This article will help you easily understand the topic and provide related information as well.
1. What is a Remote Control?
Remote controls, also called remote controllers or infrared controllers, are electronic tools that are used to control or command different types of devices like televisions, air conditioners, home theatres, DVDs, smart lights, smart fans, toy cars, drones, etc. It is usually a small, handheld wireless tool that has contains a variety of physical or touch-sensitive buttons that are used to control the function of devices from a distance. Whereas the main device that is being controlled holds a few main buttons (like Power, Reset, and Menu buttons) for use from close range. Discover how does a remote control work below. (See Vending Machine Deaths)
2. What is the History of Remote Controls?
- The earliest resemblance to a remote controller was developed in 1893, by Sir Nikola Tesla. He represented it in his patent, named it as Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vehicles.
- In 1903, technologist Torres Quevedo conferred the Telekino at the Paris Academy of Science and conducted an experimental demonstration. Within the same year, he obtained patents for it in France, Spain, Great Britain, and also the U.S. The Telekino consisted of a mechanism so that bot commands were transmitted by magnetic waves. In this way, Torres pioneered the era of remote control.
- In 1906, with the presence of the King and an outsized crowd of observers, Torres unveiled his invention within the port of Bilbao, guiding a ship from the shore. Later, he tried to use the Telekino to projectiles and torpedoes, however, he abandoned the project because of lack of funding. The primary unmanned model plane was flown in 1932.
- Throughout World War II, intensive work was done on the utilization of remote technology for military functions. One such result was German Wasser fall missile.
- By the late 1930s, many radio makers offered remote controls for a few of their higher-end models. Most of them were connected to the set being controlled by wires.
- In 1939, the Philco Mystery Control was factory-made as a battery-operated, low-frequency transmitter.
- Zenith Radio Corporation created the first television remote control in 1950. The remote, referred to as Lazy Bones, was connected to the TV set by a wire to boost this setup.
- A wireless remote called Flashmatic was developed in 1955, which worked by shining a beam of sun rays onto a photoconductive cell.
- In 1956, Henry M. Robert Adler developed Zenith area Command, a wireless remote. It used ultrasound to alter the channel and volume.
3. How does a Remote Control work?
The main technology employed in home remote controls is infrared (IR) lightening. So how does a remote control work? The signal between a handheld remote control and also the device it is controlling consists of pulses of actinic radiation. It is invisible to the human eye however may be seen through a camera, video camera, or your phone camera too. The transmitter within the remote control sends out a stream of pulses of actinic radiation once the user presses a button on the phone.
A transmitter is usually a lightweight emitting diode (LED) that is constructed into the in-formed finish of the front of the device. The actinic radiation pulses type a pattern distinctive to its button. The receiver that is present in the device acknowledges the pattern which causes the device to reply consequently. (See How Lighters Work?)
4. What are its Uses?
Now that we know how does a remote control work viz using either infrared or radio frequencies, let us discuss its multiple applications.
- Big industries especially power stations use remotes to pump power plants with high voltage direct current.
- They are also used during emergencies. For example, during the Chernobyl disaster, there were robots that worked with remote control.
- Remote controls are used in photography, videography, as well as video games.
- House gates and garage doors can also be controlled with this technology.
- They are efficiently used by militaries.
- Lastly, they are also used by space stations to control satellites. (See How to Remove Small Stripped Screws?)