Technological developments are following each other in rapid succession. These technologies are being improved and made steadily more affordable for the public at large. Examples are the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. In this article, Aumatics sets out a number of major technology trends.
Robotics for the SME sector
There have been huge advances in robotics over recent years. Heavy, bulky robots are making way for smaller, more intelligent and more mobile robotic devices. Such devices will increasingly play a part in our daily lives. Robots are now highly mobile and can safely perform certain tasks; for example, in businesses. These aspects will be perfected over the coming years.
But in business, these developments are already being utilised. For example, robotic machines that can plant and care for crops with great precision. Or the ‘burgerbot’ which can prepare and cook up to 400 hamburgers per hour. A less expensive form of robotics attractive to the SME sector is KATIA. KATIA (Kick Ass Trainable Intelligent Arm) is a robotic arm to which a variety of ‘hands’ can be attached. You could use this robotic arm for a variety of purposes.
Blockchain Technology and Cybersecurity
Blockchain technology is a steadily growing chain of data elements, also known as blocks. These blocks cannot be deleted or counterfeited, which means that this system offers good protection against manipulation and counterfeiting; as a result, it has an inherent connection with cybersecurity. Bitcoin also has an underlying blockchain technology. The film below explains how blockchain technology works in understandable language.
Blockchain technology offers a completely different approach to storing information and making transactions, making it especially suitable for environments with stringent security requirements. Although there are fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin, the blockchain foundations have until now successfully resisted cyber attacks.
With a blockchain, companies can verify users and devices without having to use a password. This ensures that the human factor is eliminated from the authentication process. The fact is that it makes no difference how well data is protected: if customers or employees use passwords that are easy to hack or steal, all these efforts are in vain. Instead of a password, blockchain technology issues each device with a specific SSL certificate. The certificate data are managed by the blockchain, making it virtually impossible to use false certificates.
3D printing is a method of production whereby layers of thermoplastic or resin are pressed into a certain form and then hardened. As the technology improves and prices fall, this technique is becoming more accessible. Soon you will be able to simply order a product and print it at home within a few minutes. The same convenience will be available to companies, which will no longer have to wait for a replacement part to be shipped and delivered. Of course, software is also required for this technology.
Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things for predictable maintenance
Just imagine what an impact it has when we can predict whether machine components need to be replaced, before they break. A lift that gets stuck between floors due to a broken component; hospital apparatus that malfunctions at a crucial moment: these become things of the past.
The combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence makes this possible. IoT combines sensors, software and network connectivity to enable objects to exchange and collect information. The quantity of data collected in this way is enormous. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to analyse, comprehend and enrich this quantity of data, and hence to predict when machine components will need to be replaced.
The modern workplace of the future
Through the years, the workplace just goes on evolving and a place for working independently is becoming ever more important. In the future, this will mean global and mainly virtual office spaces. Because it is becoming less and less important that employees be present in an office space, the office space is increasingly becoming a place of creativity and innovation. This means that the cloud is becoming more and more important, enabling employees to work independently with the right hardware. For example, take computer equipment for video conferencing. Because we want to work with ever increasing mobility and flexibility, this also involves challenges for security. How are we going to properly protect all this data against possible hackers?
How do you think these trends will affect your business operations over the coming years?