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What happens when IoT and Robots get together

Internet of robotic things (IoRT) is a technique under which the devices can fuse sensor data from various sources and also helps in monitoring events. The IoRT uses distributed intelligence and local intelligence to determine best course of action while operating the things using internet of robotic things. So, there is data gathering, analytics, communication, the cloud, middleware (IoT platforms) and applications, leveraging the data from somewhat passive sensors.

Thanks to connecting robots through the IoT, ABB Robotics could, among others move towards predictive maintenance and entirely new services. However, in such cases there remains an important human element and, in essence, we are still talking about applications in the scope of leveraging sensor-based data to achieve specific outcomes based on this real-time data.

These robots are able to monitor events, fuse sensor data from various sources, use local and distributed intelligence to determine the best course of action, and then act to control or manipulate objects in the physical world. They are not just passive, like an IoT object; they really do something and manipulate the environment.

ABI Research defined the term “The Internet of Robotic Things in 2014” and outlined three main components that characterize IoRT devices:

1) The device (robot) can be considered intelligent due to having embedded monitoring and sensing capabilities. At the same time, it is able to get sensor data from other which are fused together to drive the “acting” purpose of the device.

2) A second intelligent aspect of the device is that it is able to leverage local and distributed “intelligence”. This means that it can analyze data from monitoring events and can also access analyzed data.

3) These two aforementioned components allow the device to autonomously determine which action of controlling or manipulating an object in the physical world it will perform. If it is designed to do so, the device can also move in the physical world. Additionally, it can also “notify” or “alert” based on the analysis of a physical event to the actions.

Increasing use of robots in manufacturing units to enhance productivity and reduce human errors is anticipated to propel market growth and is expected to introduce robots that can work wirelessly in unstructured environments and extract energy from vibrations, light, and mechanical movements.

Semi or fully automated robots are increasingly used in production processes, inspection, packaging, and transportation as they reduce workload on workers and improve product quality. The growing adoption of robots for domestic purposes, such as cleaning and cooking, fully articulated robotic hands can cook various dishes like a human chef, which in turn, can influence market expansion in coming years.  Moreover, growing adoption of minimally invasive surgeries attributed to less post-surgery complications can fuel demand for robotics surgeries and increasing use of automated healthcare devices in medical facilities, including hospitals and clinics.

Automotive sector is increasing use of robots in coming years. Automobile manufacturers are expected to increase their productivity and quality in order to gain a competitive edge over others.

One excellent example of collaborative industrial robots is the Amazon Robotics mobile fulfillment unit in which thousands of robots are being used in order to automate the picking and packing process used in Amazon’s vast network of warehouses.

By 2020, 60% of plant floor workers at G2000 manufacturers will work alongside automated assistance technologies such as Robotics, 3D Printing, AI, and AR/VR (IDC)

The market can be segmented on the basis of type, application, and component.

  • Based on type: exoskeleton, mobile robotics, and static robotics.
  • Base on application: personal, military, logistics, agriculture, medical, entertainment, research, and others.
  • Base on component: can be divided into actuators, sensors, control units, brake systems, vision systems, and others.

A recent article for Forbes found that:

4% of developers are building robotics apps today.

45% of developers say that IoT development is critical to their overall digital strategy.

4% of all developers are building apps in the cloud today.

China is expected to be the leading regional market for enterprise and consumer robots. Presence of semi-conductor companies along with robust hardware and software platforms can fuel growth of artificial intelligence in the country.

The IoRT market is expected to be valued at USD 21.44 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 29.7% between 2016 and 2022 (Markets and Markets)