Skip to content
Related Articles
Open in App
Not now

Related Articles

Stationary Tracking Systems – Mechanical, Electro Magnetic, Ultrasonic

Improve Article
Save Article
  • Last Updated : 30 Jan, 2023
Improve Article
Save Article

Stationary tracking is when a device or system is able to track an object or person without moving. For example, a security camera that is mounted on a wall and can rotate to follow a person moving through the room would be an example of stationary tracking. Another example would be a website that tracks your browsing habits on the internet without you having to do anything. The device or system is in a fixed position and it only tracks the movement or changes of the object being tracked. This can be beneficial in situations where it is not possible or practical to move the tracking device, such as in a crowded public space.

Types of Stationary Tracking

There are 3 types of Stationary tracking:

  1. Mechanical Tracking
  2. Ultrasonic Tracking
  3. Electromagnetic Tracking

Mechanical Tracking: Mechanical tracking, the oldest technique, is based on accepted mechanical engineering concepts. A tracked end-effector is frequently found on an articulated arm with two to four limbs. It is necessary to know the length of each limb and to measure the angles at each joint. To measure the one, two, or three degrees of freedom in orientation that joints can have, rotating encoders or potentiometers are used. By employing the known lengths of the limbs and the angles measured at the joints, a mathematical formulation of a kinematic chain can be set up to determine the position and orientation of the end-effector.


  1. Solar power plants: Used to align solar panels with the sun 
  2. Satellite communications: Used to keep antennas pointed at communication satellites.
  3. Surveillance systems: Used to keep an eye on a certain area.

Ultrasonic Tracking: Ultrasonic tracking is a way to track the location of an object using sound waves. It works by emitting high-frequency sound waves (called ultrasonic waves) from a device and then measuring the time it takes for the waves to bounce back after hitting the object. By measuring the time it takes for the sound waves to return, the device can calculate the distance to the object. This process is called “time of flight” measurement. Additionally, some ultrasonic tracking systems use multiple sensors to triangulate the position of the object, just like GPS in our mobile phones. Overall, ultrasonic tracking is a way to locate an object by sending out sound waves and measuring the time it takes for them to bounce back.


  1. Industrial automation: Used to track the position of moving parts, such as robots and automated guided vehicles.
  2. Gaming: Used as a navigation aid for visually impaired people.
  3. Navigation: Used as a navigation aid for visually impaired people.

Electromagnetic Tracking: Electromagnetic tracking is a technology that uses electromagnetic fields to track the position and orientation of an object. It works by having a device called a “tracker” emit an electromagnetic field, and then using sensors on the object being tracked to detect that field. The sensors on the object then send information about the position and orientation of the object back to the tracker.


  1. Medical: Used to track the position of instruments and devices in real-time, providing improved accuracy and precision during procedures.
  2. Virtual Reality: Used to track the position and orientation of VR headsets and controllers which are used for providing a more immersive and interactive experience.
  3. Robotics: Used in robotics to track the position and orientation of robotic arms and other robotic devices which is important for precise movement and control.
My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Related Articles

Start Your Coding Journey Now!