The smart camera is an intelligent compact camera system based on concepts which are taken from the human visual and nervous systems. Images are taken by a smart sensor which performs first low level image processing steps. Preprocessed images are then handed over to a digital signal processor (DSP). The DSP is responsible of high level image processing. It further reduces the image data down to essential information. Based on this data, the camera can be programmed to take decisions autonomously, e.g. halt an assembly line or remove an object from the line. Because of its visual capabilities and the built-in intelligence, the camera is independent of supervising systems, although it might update or alarm the supervising system if necessary.