Internet of Robotic Things

Sure, we'd have heard about 'Internet of Things', but what's 'Internet of Robotics Things/Internet of Robotics'?

Firstly, let's try and understand the definition of it:

ABI Research defined the Internet of Robotic Things or IoRT in 2014 as:

“….the concept of the Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT), 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 the physical world, and in some cases while physically moving through that world”.

Let's take a closer look at IoR now,

The main difference with the Internet of Things as we know it, is that the devices, the robots, take real action (and are) in the physical world.

So, we have the following components in the Internet of Robotics:

The device (robot) is intelligent in the sense that it has embedded monitoring (and sensing) capabilities and at the same time can get sensor data from other sources which are fused for the ‘acting’ purpose of the device.

A second ‘intelligent’ part is that the device can leverage local and distributed “intelligence”. In other words it can analyze the data from the events it monitors (which by definition means a presence of edge computing or fog computing in many circumstance) and has access to (analyzed) data.

Finally, both prior components serve the third one which consists of (autonomously) determining what action to take and take that action, whereby an action can be the control or manipulation of a physical object in the physical world. And, if its purpose is to do so and it has been designed to be able to, the device or robot can also move in that physical world. In this stage and looking at the cases we can also include ‘notifying’ or ‘alerting’, based upon the analysis of a ‘physical event’ to the actions.

So, where and how is this concept used?

In an interview in the Summer of 2016, ABI research director Philip Solis gave a few examples of potential applications of the Internet of Robotic Things:

  • A robotic device that could check in a corporate parking lot if a car is authorized to use that lot and, if not, alert about it.

  • He also cites the example of Amazon Robotics‘ warehouse automation fulfillment center (here is our e-commerce) where mobile robots move bins and pallets and can coordinate their movements (to avoid accidents).

Current IoR incarnations are uniquely found in vertical application domains, notably AAL, precision agriculture and Industry 4.0. Domainagnostic solutions, for example, to integrate robots in IoT middleware platforms, are only emerging.

How is the IoR industry emerging?

The global robotics industry is undergoing a major transformation. Market intelligence firm Tractica released a report in November 2015 forecasting that global robotics will grow from 28.3 billion world wide in 2015 to 151.7 billion by 2020.

The Internet of Robotic Things 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)

Also 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).

For IoR to be a widespread option, the precise knowledge to tackle the connectivity can be a hurdle. Nevertheless, the option of IoR opens up new doors for a more comprehensive robotics technology. It will not only shoot up the demand for robots but also expand the purview of IoT. Clearly, the autonomous devices’ attachment to fully-functional robots talks about how an internet connection can drop-ship a territory far beyond traditional robots. Moreover, the sensor connectivity again takes us back to the added benefit of real-time data gathering and analysis, something that is the burning question for every other technology. Real-time data collection will make the things dynamic from the earlier static version.

IoR has immensely dense prospects to offer if the security is taken care of.

Thus, we now have progressed from wondering what the term IoR/IoRT(Internet of Robotic Things) means to having a fair idea about it. Let's look forward use this concept in our future endeavors!

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