How AI Will Revolutionize the Industrial Sectors

Introduction

One of the hottest technologies today is artificial intelligence (AI). After IBM’s Watson supercomputer gained recognition, the company branded and invested a great deal of effort in its Watson AI division. Watson has made its name, among other things, by beating the human world champion in the AlphaGo game. Other leading tech companies, including Google, Cisco, Facebook, and Baidu are putting serious money behind AI. As AI continues to grow, it will have a major impact in many industrial markets; most noticeably Network Communication, Connected Factories, Smart Robots, Embedded Smart Things, and Healthcare.

5G and Future Networks Will Benefit from AI

The rise of IoT and 5G will enable billions of connected nodes. While it is a work in progress,  5G download speed can reach 20 Gbps, in theory at least.  Massive amount of data  will be freely transmitted to be used by supercomputers to make decisions in applications such as autonomous driving and remote surgery assistance, in which every second counts. With AI and the 5G network, the long awaited vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications will become a reality. Implementation of 5G now depends upon how quickly the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acts to get V2V moving. 

You can learn more about the latest on 5G, attend the Qualcomm keynote at Sensors Expo on Thursday, June 27 on "What Does 5G Mean For IoT."

While IoT offers a lot of benefits, it also has its drawbacks. Hackers can take advantage of the connected devices and gain access to personal information. It has been shown that many enterprises, including the credit bureau Equifax, have been hacked. Hotel chains, which typically lack strong cybersecurity, are another target of hackers. AI can potentially help with cybersecurity because it can detect abnormal network behavior and quickly alert administrators to potential threats. It can even analyze the malware code to determine its threat level.

Connected Factories Will Be More Productive

For the most part, factory automation has been focused on assembly up until now, with automakers using robots to build cars for a number of years. Now, with its analytic skills, AI will enable preventive maintenance, automatic inspection, and enhance inventory control including automatic inventory inspection with drone and moving goods with robots. The connected factories concept is turning into reality. 

Smart Robots Are At Your Service

Robots are not only used in large-scale operations like automotive manufacturing. Smart robots can be programmed to perform simple tasks and repeat processes accurately, sometimes performing better than humans can. They never get tired and do not need to eat. Up to now, what humans have been doing with more success than robots is making decisions based on a set of predetermined criteria. With AI and advancements in machine vision, sensors, and natural language processing skills, robots can do a good job in assisting humans. Smart robots are showing up in restaurants [see video example], hotels, hospitals, and even in the sky to help with delivery. Wing, a division of Alphabet, has recently received FAA approval to use drones to deliver goods to consumers, while other companies are experimenting with using robot cars to deliver groceries to residences in Arizona. In some restaurants in Japan, China, and now in the U.S., robots can take orders and help take food to the tables. In hospitals, robots help deliver medicines and meals to the patients. These smart robots can detect the level of battery life they have left and go to the charging station all by themselves. They are polite and have earned smiles from customers. 

Bear Robotics

Smart robots assist restaurant workers with food delivery.

Embedded Smart Things Provide Convenience in Many Ways

More and more embedded smart things are being incorporated in designs, causing small- as well as large-scale change. Drivers can avoid an extra chore by relying on self-parking vehicles, for example, and drivers can also learn from their vehicles where to find parking. 

You can learn more about automobile automation from the Autonomous Vehicle Sensors Conference taking place this June 25-26 in San Jose, CA.

On a larger scale, smart street lights can help entire communities save a great deal of energy. Future smart cities will potentially make life easier for everyone. Many planners are implementing smart cities on a smaller scale to test the concept. One reason that embedded smart things are generating so much excitement stems not just from their ability to add convenience but from their ability to save lives. Consider the scenario in which an ambulance carrying the victim of, say, a traffic accident  is inadvertently dispatched to a facility without the right set up to handle that type of trauma. Within a smart city, an ambulance can tap into a centralized AI database, and the right facility will be informed that the ambulance is on its way with all the traffic lights synchronized ahead of time for the first responder to come through. AI makes every second count.

AI Empowers Future Healthcare

While connected healthcare is in its infancy, the industry is starting to deploy AI to assist in diagnostics, remote patient monitoring, remote healthcare, and home healthcare. For example, more and more seniors prefer to stay at home over living in a care facility, so care facilities are starting to offer AI-assisted home healthcare. A home is set up with multiple sensors to monitor the environment around the clock automatically. The centralized AI system would monitor the senior’s well-being through such means as  tracking sleep patterns and keeping apprised of the individual’s location. Such a system could also  know  if the room door is open or closed, and in some cases use shoes with built-in GPS to keep track of individuals. AI home healthcare solutions have great potential. Those who care about their aging parents but are not able to live close enough to care for them will be very interested in such offerings. 

You can learn more about AI in healthcare from the Medical Sensors Design Conference taking place June 25 in San Jose, CA. 

Parker’s FlexSense Stretchable Sensors can detect changes in pressure, force, weight in healthcare applications.

Conclusion
Cited here are just a few examples of how AI will impact the future of embedded industrial sectors. As AI becomes more mature, Network Communication, Connected Factories, Smart Robots, Embedded Smart Things and Healthcare will rely on AI to solve many problems in ways not practical before now. The cooperation among network, IoT, embedded, sensors and healthcare technology developers will continue to increase, so we can expect more innovative solutions.

You can learn about the latest embedded technologies by attending one or more of the following sessions at the upcoming events - Sensors Expo & Conference and Embedded Technologies Expo & Conference - this June in San Jose, CA.

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