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What is instrument?

Device that communicates, denotes, detects, indicates, measures, observes, records, or signals a quantity or phenomenon, or controls or manipulates another device.

An instrument is a device that measures a physical quantity such as flow, temperature, level, distance, angle, or pressure.


Mechanical thermostat
Security system

Kitchen appliances use sensors for control.
A refrigerator maintains a constant temperature by measuring the internal temperature.
A microwave oven sometimes cooks via a heat-sense-heat-sense cycle until sensing done.
An automatic ice machine makes ice until a limit switch is thrown.
Pop-up bread toasters can operate by time or by heat measurements.
Some ovens use a temperature probe to cook until a target internal food temperature is reached. A common toilet
refills the water tank until a float closes the valve. The float is acting as a water level sensor.


Anti-skid braking systems
Airbag systems which contain sensors
Autonomous cars
Battery voltage and current
Brake, headlights, transmission position).
Check engine
Cruise control affects throttle position.
Distance traveled
Door ajar
Engine rotational speed
Fluid levels
Fluid temperatures
Feedbacks of various controls (turn signals, parking Fuel low
Logic and actuators
Navigation systems
OnStar system
Seat belt unfastened)
Tire pressure low
Vehicle linear speed


Aircraft stabilization systems
Global positioning systems
Weather radar
Redundant sensors

Laboratory instrumentation

Instrumentation is used to measure many parameters (physical values). These parameters include:
Pressure, either differential or static
Levels of liquids, etc.
Other mechanical properties of materials
Properties of ionising radiation
Chemical composition
Chemical properties
Properties of light