In this paper we investigate the usage of machine learning for interpreting measured sensor values in sensor modules. In particular we analyze the potential of artificial neural networks (ANNs) on low-cost microcontrollers with a few kilobytes of memory to semantically enrich data captured by sensors. The focus is on classifying temporal data series with a high level of reliability. Design and implementation of ANNs are analyzed considering Feed Forward Neural Networks (FFNNs) and Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). We validate the developed ANNs in a case study of optical hand gesture recognition on an 8-bit microcontroller. The best reliability was found for an FFNN with two layers and 1493 parameters requiring an execution time of 36 ms. We propose a workflow to develop ANNs for embedded devices.