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Many homes have systems, such as alarm systems or heating systems, that are controlled by computers. These computers use sensors to pick up on any important changes in and around the house. The changes may mean that the computer has to switch an alarm on, or turn the heating on or off.

Data Duck has just moved into a new home, and would like four computer systems: an alarm system, a heating system, a smoke detector and an automatic light for his front door. Can you help him set them up?

First, we need to remind ourselves what each system should do:

Alarm system: when the alarm system is switched on, an alarm should sound if anyone opens the front door or a window.
Smoke detector: to protect us from  re, the smoke detector sounds an alarm when it senses smoke in the home.
Heating system: using a sensor called a thermostat, the heating system makes sure the home is the right temperature by switching the heating on when the rooms are too cold, and off when they are too warm.
Automatic light:  fixed by the front door, the automatic light turns on if anyone walks towards it.

Each system is made up of a sensor (also called an input), a computer and an output. Think about what each system needs to do, then choose the sensor, computer and output action that will help the system work properly from the list on the next page.

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