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Future motion control sensors must be smart

01 October, 2001

Future motion control sensors must be smart

Future sensors for motion control applications will have to be able to measure physical parameters, process data and make decisions, says one expert. Jim Smith, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan`s Technical Insights division, suggests that sensor technology that is compatible with distributed processing and remote automation will be "a critical ingredient" in the development of automation systems.

He cites the example of machine vision systems that are being used increasingly where accurate, high-speed inspections, data collection and networking are needed. By integrating digital images with software and controllers, the camera becomes "a motion control sensor, not just an inspection device," Smith says.

He identifies fibre optic and semiconductor sensor technologies as key developments, but reports that many observers expect the fastest growth to come from microelectromechanical and smart sensor technologies.

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