The Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT), first described a few years ago in a report by ABI Research, involves the ability of intelligent devices 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.

Although it’s still in the initial stages, IoRT installations are happening. For example, FANUC announced the initial results of a collaborative development effort with partners Cisco, Rockwell Automation, and Preferred Network.

The joint effort resulted in the FIELD system, an advanced analytics, middleware, and IoT infrastructure platform for FANUC Computer Numerical Control machines and robots, as well as peripheral devices and sensors used in industrial automation systems.

Using FIELD, companies can capture operational data from multiple sources in real-time, which can then be analyzed and acted upon to optimize manufacturing processes while reducing downtime.

Generally speaking, the robotics sector will be accelerated by IoT initiatives. IoT technologies, architectures, and standards can be used to provide robotics systems with access to back-end data and compute services in the cloud, input from pervasive, sensored devices in their working environment, and communication with other robotics systems. IoT, and supporting technologies will increase the intelligence of individual robotics systems, as well as entire IoRT ecosystems.

> Read more by Rob Violino, ZDNET, August 18, 2016

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