Towards Smarter Factories Using Embedded Technologies

Smart factories may become a reality sooner than we thought. German Research Center for AI director Detlef Zuehlke says that it is the best time to use smarter technologies in our factories. He calls cyber physical systems ‘the fourth stage’ of the industrial revolution, after the invention of the steam engine, the conveyer belt and electric automation.

Cyber physical systems, also called embedded systems, help us merge the physical world with the virtual world making intelligent systems like the IoT possible. Cyber physical systems marry new technologies like IoT to factories, leading to the creation of smarter products, smarter machines while also increasing the capability of the human element.

Already, some big companies have thousands of microprocessors in equipment modules on their factory floor. These coordinate with data processing tools leading to the creation of new information.

The Internet of Things is also being scaled up for use in factories. Soon, we will be able to control the assembly and manufacturing process using our smartphone, tablets and similar devices. Already, many companies are working on semantic interfaces that will take the description of a problem and translate it into a configuration that will solve the problem. When these developments finally arrive, they will open up new opportunities for embedded developers.