Electronic key pads, push-button remote controls and electric eyes are all types of gate automation powering methods. In order to make the entry and exit of gated drives and walkways more accessible, many different types of gate automation are available. Factors such as the size, opening style and the climate of the gate's location often dictate that a specific style be used. Remote sensors and push-button activation units are the most common types of activation methods for automatic gate in some areas. Infrared, laser and pressure-sensitive activation switches are also used in gate automation triggering units, and in more secure locations, voice and thumb print recognition devices are used to allow access to a restricted area.
Security is a major concern in many areas, therefore, restricted access is achieved through placing fences and gates around buildings, properties and entire communities. In order to avoid the gates having to be opened and closed by a human being, gate automation is widely used for automatic admission. Many automation systems use a small electronic device that is attached to the rear-view mirror of a vehicle or is held by a person on foot. As the vehicle or person approaches the gate, a signal to open the gate is sent and the gate opens, allowing entry. This type of gate automation closes automatically at a predetermined time period.
In areas that remain free of snow and ice throughout the year, pressure-sensitive activation cells can be placed in the entryway near the gate. This style of gate automation is triggered by the weight of a vehicle passing over the cells, thus opening the gate. The weight required to activate the opening mechanism can be programed by the gate installation contractor. This type of system does not work when the roadway becomes snow-covered. The most basic method used in gate automation is a key pad, requiring a specific code to be punched in to gain access.
For low-security applications, infrared and electronic eyes as well as laser beam activation systems are commonly used. In very high-security gate automation systems, thumb print and voice analysis electronics are used to activate the opening of the gate. Ultra secure facilities often use a multiple activation system which requires the user to posses two or more codes to gain entrance. This diminishes the chance of an unauthorized vehicle gaining access to a single code and moving past the security system.