The Internet of Things (IoT) has made its appearance in a substantial number of industries, most recently manifesting itself in the the realm of robotics. IoT technologies and standards open the door for new robotic capabilities that are powered by cloud computing, communication with other robotic systems and sensor input from the environment around them. Recent research has pointed to a new opportunity for robotics to operate beyond the scope of what was possible just a few years ago. As we look at a future of data and connectivity at every end point – from our cars, to our homes, to our businesses – it’s clear that we’ve just begun to scrape the surface of what is possible with the rapid expansion of IoT throughout the world.
In a recent report, ABI research coined the, “Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT),” defining the concept, “where intelligent devices can monitor events, fuse sensor data from a variety of sources, use local and distributed ‘intelligence’ to determine a best course of action, and then act to control or manipulate objects in the physical world, and in some cases while physically moving through that world.” The research certainly backs recent claims that robotics are going to leave a significant mark on the IoT industry.
Take a look at the key statistics that Forbes recently reported on Robotics:
- 4% of developers are building robotics apps today.
- 45% of developers say that Internet of Things (IoT) development is critical to their overall digital strategy.
- 4% of all developers are building apps in the cloud today.
RF Technology in the IoRT World
As the entire technology landscape changes it is more important than ever for RF technology to adapt in order to meet new industry demands. Manufacturers in the hardened, wireless communication industry have taken note and set their eyes on all things IoT by developing Sensor-to-Server (S2S) communication solutions. Some of these wireless IoT communication solutions providers are offering platforms to host third-party applications in addition to creating the communication links for devices. This is an entirely new class of wireless IoT communication solutions that has the staying power needed in the midst of technology evolution.
Robotic IoT Future
Some companies using wireless S2S solutions, have already begun to incorporate IoRT into their networks. Real-life use case examples of robotics for IoT networks that are in the works today include:
- Semi-autonomous robotic geophysical surveying platforms for detection of unexploded ordnance. With an S2S communication solution, this use case will provide real time kinematic base station GPS corrections and combined geophysical data to a mobile command and control vehicle for concurrent advanced data processing by rear support group linked by MiFi or Satellite communications.
- A ‘ship-to-shore’ link for an ocean going wave-powered autonomous robot.
As robotics systems adapt to the new technology landscape, they will increasingly integrate with IoT networks. With these new advanced robotics capabilities, businesses will see new opportunities for automation and efficiency to further advance operations and will be able to leverage this new technology for competitive advantage.