Rooted in science fiction and taking hold in science fact, there has always been a fascination in the tech industry around robots. What’s exciting today is that the Internet of Things is adding a new layer to robotics through low-power, compute and connectivity. From wearable safety devices in baby clothes to industrial automation and preventative maintenance in jet engines, it’s the very small robots connected to each other and the cloud that is having the broadest impact. Today we welcome Matt Kwong to the blog with a fascinating and well-researched look at robotics in the Internet of Things. Matt is a freelance journalist living between Toronto and Atlanta who writes about technology, science, Canada and the South. See the abstract below and read the full article here. Thank you Matt. ~Valerie Scarsellato, Marketing Specialist
Dawn of the Invisible Robot: Miniscule machines with big-data capabilities at the heart of the smart tech revolution
Abstract: Today’s robots and the components within them are getting increasingly smaller and ever more invisible in products all around us. In the smart home, mobile apps control tiny computers in the thermostat, appliances and security systems. The Internet of Things — made up of billions of connected devices — is allowing machines to “discover the Internet” and promising to change the realm of machines at home, in smart cities, and on the factory floor. Companies are starting to embrace the digitalization of operations and are investing significant sums of money in smart systems that perform “predictive maintenance” — a way to detect when a machine is reaching the point of failure. Traceable merchandise with RFID tags allow beverage and pharmaceutical industries to better search for and isolate contaminations with unit-level verification. Traceability is a tenet of PLM, or product lifecycle management, literally space-aged software that allowed NASA to virtually test-run its Mars rover and allows car companies to run crash test simulations without prototypes. Minimizing corrective measures saves money, and products can get to a manufacturing stage 30-50 percent faster. Smart technology is also going into large industrial robots making them safer and Baxter, a humanoid bot that can learn tasks visually and understand human gestures. Just as steam power set the Industrial Revolution into motion, tech analysts call this transition “Industry 4.0.” The genie is out of the bottle. Read the full article here.