What Are Industrial Robots
One of the hottest topics in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the Internet of Things (IOT) and industrial robots. According to the report of International Telecommunication Union (2012), “the Internet of things can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications. It is considered as a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies”. Based on this definition, IOT refers to networkable things. Things can be Physical things which exist in the physical world (e.g. sensors of surrounding environments, industrial robots, goods, and electrical equipment), or Virtual things which exist in the information world (e.g. multimedia contents, application software and service representations of physical things). They are able to be integrated into communication networks and can offer services to various kinds of applications such as intelligent transportation systems, e-health, and smart environmental monitoring.
According to Lee et al. (2013), the Internet of things will include: “ubiquitous connectivity allowing for whenever, whoever, wherever, and whatever types of communications; a pervasive reality for effective interfaces to provide connectable real world environments; and ambient intelligence allowing for innovative communications and providing increased value creation”. The vision of the IOT suggests that devices can communicate with other devices through a worldwide network with or without the involvement of human. Humans can also communicate with a device in order to get or transfer specific information. In this way, everything from individuals, groups, communities, objects, products, data, services, and processes will be connected by the IOT. It is estimated that approximately 50 billion things will be connected to each other through the communication network by 2020. A massive set of data will be created. It would seem that management of the data generated and its interpretation for application purposes are important issues that should be considered.
The IOT will create new services based on real-time physical world data and will transform businesses, industries, and the daily life of people. Smart cities (connected communities), smart planet (green environment), smart building (building, smart homes), smart industry (industrial environment), smart energy (electric grid), smart transport (intelligent transport system), smart living (entertainment, leisure), smart health (health care system) are examples of the Internet of things.
The major characteristics of the IOT are: interconnectivity of physical and virtual things; ability of providing thing-related services within the constraints of things; heterogeneity of IOT devices; dynamic changes of devices, and enormous scale. Various technologies such as M2M, microcontrollers, wireless communication, RFID, energy harvesting technologies, location technology, and various software will contribute to the development of the IOT.
Many scholars believe that security, privacy, and trust are important issues and should be considered as fundamental design parameters of sensor systems. In a world where everything is connected by the internet, confidentiality, authenticity, and integrity of data and services are critical particularly for public services, enterprises, and citizens. Furthermore, privacy protection of data during transmission, aggregation, storage, mining and processing is important. Therefore, dynamic trust models need to be designed to provide security and privacy features.
By Mojgan Afshari
Mojgan Afshari is a senior lecturer in the Department of Educational Management, Planning and Policy at the University of Malaya. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Applied Chemistry from Tehran, Iran. Then, she completed her Master’s degree in Educational Administration. After living in Malaysia for a few years, she pursued her PhD in Educational Administration with a focus on ICT use in education from the University Putra Malaysia. She currently teaches courses in managing change and creativity and statistics in education at the graduate level.