The “remote” concept goes back to the oldest days of television. People who wanted to change the channel, volume or settings on their tubes could ultimately do so without ever having to get up or move. They had a “remote” – a simple device that allowed them to alter whatever they wanted from the sofa. Convenient, right?
Over the last ten years, the world has taken the “remote” concept to a whole new level. Today, we have remote employees working at home or at nearby coffee shops for companies in other states, and even other countries. Some online enterprises are strictly comprised of remote workers, none of whom are ever required to leave their bedrooms to complete tasks. All they need is a computer, a phone, and a little discipline, and boom! They can get as much done as one who sits in office every day from 9-5. It doesn’t matter if you’re five, ten, 50, or even 100 miles away. There are companies out there seeking your services, and the future is looking brighter than ever for the working man.
THE FUTURE OF REMOTE MONITORING: VEHICLES AND FACTORIEs
Now, remote tasks are going further. IoT-based technology has made remote monitoring of things like vehicles and factory contents from afar a solid reality. Cars and vehicles will no longer require individual drivers, but can instead be controlled on a central platform from a distance. Per the Ericsson Mobility Report, autonomous vehicles and remote monitoring systems are currently undergoing trial testing, and should be available to fleet managers in approximately five to ten years.
Public bus systems will likely be the first vehicles to enjoy these upgrades. Safety mechanisms are set to be installed in public buses (safety first, kids!), allowing them to be controlled and monitored by remote operators. At the same time, British breakdown company AA, one of the UK’s most celebrated and popular brands, has already entered an agreement with a telematics group to offer operating systems to “business customers with large fleets of vehicles” so they can cut costs and improve their performances. This is done through tracking their vehicles’ speeds, routes, and total fuel usage. This strategy helps companies utilizing the technology to become more economical in the long run.
In a factory setting, remote monitoring applications can serve a similar purpose. Projects to instill remote monitoring capabilities in manufacturing have been around for nearly six years, and technology is moving at a rapid rate. Parameters and conditions in factories and industries ranging from part performances to temperature humidity can be monitored by central users, who then gather sensor information and control everything remotely either from home or from a separate location.
HERE’S AN EXAMPLE…
For one specific project in India, remote factory setups will consist of mobile handsets, GSM modems, microcontrollers, IR sensors and humidity sensors. The goal is to not only measure temperatures within a factory setting, but to read and determine the number of workers present on factory grounds. Information gathered is then sent to system administrators, who from a separate location, work to establish proper real-time conditions for both employees and equipment.
In the long run, remote monitoring and control systems are completely necessary if decentralized environments like those in factories are to thrive. Currently, shop floors require a serious level of “agility and responsiveness” so that flexibility and productivity levels can be maintained, and remote diagnostics can support “globally integrated manufacturing activities,” such as troubleshooting and PLC program modifications. Through remote monitoring, mundane tasks can be accomplished in half the time and with half the strain.