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An intelligent sensor is a sensor that takes some predefined action when it senses the appropriate input (light, heat, sound, motion, touch, etc.).
The sensor has to do the following tasks:
- Give a digital signal.
- Be able to communicate the signal.
- Be able to execute logical functions and instructions.
Elements of Intelligent sensors
- Primary sensing element
- Excitation control
- Analogue filtering
- Data conversion
- Digital information processing
- Digital communication processing
Because the tasks are performed by microprocessors, any gadget which mixes a sensor and a microprocessor is usually called an intelligent sensor.
To qualify as an intelligent sensor, the sensor and processor must be part of the same physical unit. A sensor whose only function is to detect and send an unprocessed signal to an external system which performs some action is not considered intelligent.