Plainly explained, Autonomous Things are devices that work unsupervised within a defined context to complete a task. Autonomous Things use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the max to automated tasks formerly carried out by humans, and to supply cutting-edge performances which work together more naturally with their environment and with individuals.
They are excellent tools for automating repetitive human activities. The evolution of Autonomous Things technology comes in several forms, and work within many environments with fluctuating levels of capability, coordination and intelligence.
Autonomous Physical and Virtual Things
Autonomous Things regularly appear in a physical device running in everyday life. For instance, autonomous vehicles, robots, and drones. Moreover, industrial equipment and consumer-domestic tools are as well Autonomous Things empowered by the Internet of Things (IoT) features; they might function in the air, on land, or at sea and its operation always related to humans. Hereafter some features:
- Robots perform a self-sufficiently task without the help of humans and with a certain level of motion.
- AI-powered IoT features work autonomously from humans, frequently with not much or any mobility.
- Humans control drones remotely/distantly.
- Autonomous vehicles might transport passengers or shipment.
- Crime anticipation employing autonomous-patrolling robots, and at the same time, these robots use edge robots, Analytics and commitment to forecast and prevent crime.
- Highly-developed agriculture - the use of automated devices and tasks via the design of planning algorithms for robots to control farms independently; it’s also supported by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) control by human scouts to study solutions for farmers of specific harvests, as well as vertical farming.
- Safe automobile transportation – both, high-tech companies as traditional automotive businesses are trying to eliminate the human-error aspect; self-driving cars will reduce the number of automobile accidents. By 2021, a higher per cent of vehicles will count on autonomous driving competency.
- New ways of interactions involving virtual assistants and autonomous agents will make it easier the interchange of data.
The capability to use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to line up company divisions and sites will customise and extend collaboration, impacting the current workplace, the industry and workers’ atmosphere. Predictions are that in about three years, people working in Industry 4.0 will be running a business with virtual assistants or independent agents to interact more naturally with their environment and with people too. How?
Nowadays, Virtual Personal Assistants (VPA) work at the implicit or explicit guidance of the user not exactly completely autonomously, facilitating automation-routine-tasks. The managing of more automatic-complex tasks is still to come.
While Independent agents work at the background, and not call forth by the user, we can see when an independent agent might monitor the health of a system and proactively change software configurations.
Autonomous Things operate along a span of Autonomy, from semiautonomous to fully independent, as we can appreciate in a self-directing vacuum cleaner limited to a certain smartness and Autonomy. In the other hand, we have a drone which might autonomously avoid obstacles and fly into buildings through windows and doors.
The method to assess Autonomy often applied to evaluate autonomous vehicles is to consider use cases for AI-powered IoT devices, robots, drones, devices and agents, classified as:
- Human-assisted - Partial automation - Conditional automation –
- High automation - Full automation
Whereas Autonomous Things multiply, we anticipate a shift from isolated intelligent things, to “swarm” or pack of collaborative-intelligent things, a model in which several devices will work together, both independently or with human contribution; as in Agriculture, where workers use drones to evaluate liable fields for harvesting; this drone could dispatch an “autonomous harvester”.
Autonomous vehicles are also used in the delivery market to relocate packages, with the support of drones and robots to load the vehicle and to deliver the package to its final destination.
We have many examples where this "swarm" approach is used, like car manufacturers that used vehicles communicating among them to improve traffic flows; or a city plan to use Autonomous police vehicles which can set out their own drones for investigation; or the use of a drone swarm for the opening ceremony of Olympic Games.
Final comments: The use of virtual assistants and independent agents keeps growing; we will see shortly “swarm intelligence,” the coordinated interaction among several virtual assistants within the digital workplace devices, and the creation of general-purpose settings to fulfil user’s demands, encompassing various procedures.
Even though Autonomous Things put forward several sensational capabilities, matching the human brain intelligence and its vibrant purpose of learning, is not yet achieved.
Subscribe to our emails & exclusive free content.