Teleoperation and Telerobotics plays a profound role in industrial automation and the rapidly evolving Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) arena. Robots and remote control systems enable various industries to control real machines/equipment via virtual objects through master controlling interfaces.

By its commonly understood definition, Teleoperation indicates operation of a machine at a distance. It is similar in meaning to the phrase "remote control" but with significant implications for industry. It is most commonly associated with robotics, and more specifically, mobile robots but can be applied to a whole range of circumstances in which a device or machine is operated by a person from a distance. With IoT, Teleoperation takes on an expanded meaning as processes become optimized and automation is much more efficient.

The Mind Commerce report Google in RFID and M2M, Second Edition (January 2013) evaluated the role of Google in M2M and related IoT areas. Here are a few excerpts from that report:

There is a great potential for Google in M2M/IoT. Just as RFID can be used to create presence detection, tracking, etc., and association between real-world items with Web-based objects such as URL’s, Google can employ the use of M2M for virtual control of real-world objects.

The obvious role for Google in M2M is address mapping. Just as Google uses various algorithms to put search into context based on keywords, they can do the same to put communications and control into context. This can be done in a real-world to real-world basis as well as real-world to virtual world (and vice versa) basis.

Mapping is the foundation of “teleoperation” (operation of a machine at a distance) as there must first be a way to address an object before it can be signaled and/or controlled from a distance.

In that same report, our analysis continues with the following:

It is quite a bit more obvious for the real-to-real scenarios such as predicting contextually which systems may be affected by real-world events such as a tidal wave striking a coastline where there is a nuclear power plant.

The real to virtual scenarios are less obvious, but have huge implications, as the virtual world represents two-way control (real to virtual and virtual to real) communications and control for a variety of use cases including simulations, alerts, risk assessment, gaming (some serious such as war games), etc. Furthermore, augmented reality can be employed to help people in the real world be able to better identify and visualize these relationships so that they be leveraged for productive benefit.

For example, a maintenance team arriving at a building can gain access to an augmented reality view of hidden systems (for instance equipment behind a wall) to both see what is there as well as information and its status. With a touch of a button, the worker is linked to a URL that provides static and/or dynamic information about the object such as specs and usage information, ownership, maintenance history, status, performance, etc.

With Google, it will be conceivable that every object will be known along with all key contextual data, mapped to addresses, and sorted by key associations, permissions, and privacy rules.

Mind Commerce sees these as vital functions, which either Google and/or others may perform. 

We also see these teleoperation scenarios, and others, playing out over the next 10- 20 years with IoT and IIoT in particular.

Some other technology areas that are closely associated with Teleoperation include 5G, Augmented Reality, Haptic Internet, and Virtual Reality.  Also, learn more about IoT Virtual Control and Digital Twinning.

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