Nice article, Al. I would guess we'll see increased use of wireless devices and systems in all areas of automation and control. One area that calls for wireless is difficult environments where running wire often means the cable goes through mean environments that can include grease and sitting pools of gunk. Wireless is well suited to avoid these difficult terrains.
The next step -- a very distant step, to be sure -- would be to put wireless sensors on board vehicles. With 150 pounds of wiring on vehicles today, automotive engineers would love to be able to do that.
Agree with both of you. Wireless technology is going to continue to break into new application areas and the advantages are obvious. Guaranteeing reliability and also breaking into control apps will be the big challenge.
Agree with you, Rob, wireless can solve a lot of the networking problems in an industrial setting, and is definitely one of the ways forward for enabling connectivity for a number of machines and devices. Interesting and informative article, Al.
Hey Chuck, I didn't realize there was 150 pounds of wiring in autos. That's amazing. With the big emphasis on driving down the weight of vehicles to meet CAFE standards, wireless will probably get a good look-over. I imagine it will come down to cost of wireless versus the benefits of hitting the CAFE standards.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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