The new World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots report shows a record of 2.7 million industrial robots operating in factories around the world – an increase of 12%. Sales of new robots remain on a high level with 373,000 units shipped globally in 2019. This is 12% less compared to 2018, but still the 3rd highest sales volume ever recorded.
The field of artificial intelligence (AI) experienced tremendous scientific advances in the last few years, from vast improvements in processing power and computational efficiency to new insights into object identification, language, and deep learning. IBM — a leader in AI research since its inception in the 1950s — helped inform many of these advances. And 2019 in particular was a watershed moment for IBM Research AI.
Across the five main areas of IoT (wearables, home, cities, enterprise, environment) and the key verticals we cover (manufacturing, energy, oil, automotive, healthcare, government, insurance), you could...
It’s understandable that parts of IoT will move forward at different rates. But if we assume the advances in IoT will play out as we expect across our five areas of interest (wearables, home, cities, enterprise, environment), then we could be looking at a future where we live longer, we’re fitter and healthier, there’s less pollution, we need to work less, and we’re rarely late. Or are we? To paint a picture of the future as a Logan’s Run-esque utopia (spoiler: the film doesn’t turn out well) would be disingenuous, but to envisage 50 years from now as like the Pixar film WALL-E where humans are inert and ignorant would be taking things to the other extreme too. It’s clear at least that there will be knock-on effects of an automated society that no-one can predict but let’s try some of the easier ones .
Digital twins are the key to achieving smart factories. They will open the door to the manufacturing industry’s cyber-physical future.
Digital twins are cyber clones of physical things. Their use in product design and planning is big news at the moment, and using them to plan entire factories is potentially the next major step toward smart manufacturing.