MieRobot guest post: So what is IoT and why should students know it?

The IoT, basically it is all about a bridge, or simply put into technical terms, it’s about connectivity between devices. Wikipedia defines and states IoT as 'The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data.Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020'.

The idea is simple; every piece of technology should be able to communicate to every other piece of technology to produce a network (web) of interconnected devices that wholly represent a super system.

To make the idea clear, let's take as an example the idea of a Smart Home, which is one of the core application areas for IoT. The basic idea would be that your TV could communicate with your mobile phone, which could communicate with your fridge, your lights, your heating system, your coffee maker… every gadget, basically, could talk to each other.

Now you guys might be wondering, what’s the bigger picture in this?

By combining these connected devices with automated systems, it is possible to "gather information, analyse it and create an action" to help someone with a particular task or learn from a process. In reality, this ranges from smart mirrors to temperature sensors and beyond, yeah like Star Trek and Beyond, where the idea is been mimicked that there is something beyond too. To get a small snap, think about the movie I-Robot or Matrix, which I’m sure most can relate with.

Not to forget the cloud-based services, social networks and mobile phone apps, we can already see a drop in this ocean of what the IoT looks like.

Now suppose, if you go for a run or cycle with a “smart” wristwatch then it will track your journey and also upload the run automatically when you enter a Wi-Fi zone. You can then sit down in front of a Web-enabled device and look at the analysed data from your journey.


By combining these connected devices with automated systems, it is possible to gather information, analyse it and create an action" to help someone with a particular task or learn from a process


Basically, the point of the IoT is to be able to monitor and interact with your personal like it's everywhere.

The Future of Robotics

Many of you can now realise that we are close enough to the reality where one machine is communicating to another machine, and these are not just limited to static devices like your phones but it encompasses moving machine, yes you heard it right, it’s the Robots we are referring about!

If you break the robotics in context to IoT, you will look onto unambiguously identifiable IP objects which are equipped/embedded with sensing possibilities (sensors), and actuators on the edge.

Now the question is where to put Robotics in this long race? Well to put it in this way, Robotics is a subset of Internet of Things, where there would be no centralised systems rather there would be an interconnection between each and every robot that can talk to each other (Machine-2-Machine) and simultaneously analyse data leading to their actionable outcomes.

Popular use cases:

These outcomes are the many IoT use cases: setting up a smart parking system, developing a smart agro-based project, monitoring (and reducing) not just air pollution but water and land pollution too by introducing concept of smart cities and, in the industrial sector Internet Of Things, use cases such as predictive maintenance or looking over the safety of workers, for instance in manufacturing areas specially chemical plants or radioactive plants or in mining zones.

With the latter use cases, typically part of what is called the Industrial Internet or Industry 4.0 as said by many tech operatives.

One of the main components in the manufacturing industry concerns robotics, in here, industrial robots. Obviously, robotics is about more than just industrial robots. We see a growth in various segments of the broader robotics ecosystem, including personal robots. And thus its clear for robotics getting a bigger piece in this tech era.

Show me some examples:

Lastly, I would like to conclude stating that - Products don't always easily connect to each other and there are significant security issues that need to be addressed. Thus IoT security along with deployment is of prime importance.


About Author: Hi, I’m Shubhendu Das Sarma. I’m a tech enthusiast and currently pursuing my B.Tech in CSE. Most of the times, I am into developing websites and reading tech articles, rest I simply watch movies.



Wikipedia image at : By Wilgengebroed on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Info graphics from: http://www.visualistan.com/2017/01/huge-scale-of-potential-savings-in-industrial-internet-of-things.html

References and further notes:

ABB website: http://www.abb.com/cawp/seitp202/ed88d4490a8a541dc1257da800561071.aspx


Others: http://www.plmportal.org/en/abb.html

#engineeringcollege #iot