The latest Internet of Things (IoT) sub-segment to emerge is the Internet of Robotic Things, where intelligent robots operate with relative autonomy.

As reported by ZDNet, ABI Research is championing the emergence of IoT-powered robots.

In essence the Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT) describes devices that are able to combine data from various sources, monitor events, determine a best course of action and manipulate objects in the real world.

And though the IoRT concept has been kicking around for a few years, ABI’s practice director of robotics Dan Kara says the technology is still in the early stages.

However, he says new innovations are starting to appear in this space, like iRobot which uses Amazon Web Services to connect consumer robotic devices to the cloud.

He says that increasing investment in IoT initiatives and cloud-based technology will accelerate innovations in the robotics sector.

“Both commercial and consumer robotics systems can benefit from these capabilities,” he said. “Low-cost, miniature cameras and accelerometers developed for mobile phones and tablets provide just one example. Similarly, the robotics sector benefited from the technical ‘tailwinds’ resulting from massive amounts of spending and research for defense robotics systems in the early 2000s.”

Robots in the cloud?

IoT architectures, standards and technologies can give future robots capabilities powered by cloud-based computing, communication with other robotic systems and sensor input from their environment.

“Smart edge devices can share embedded, local data with robotic systems, describing themselves and providing other information,” said Kara. “Combined with additional data captured using the robot’s onboard sensors, this enriched set of information can be used by robotic systems to make decisions locally and then act accordingly. Alternatively, this information can be augmented with distributed data and processing in the cloud and subsequently acted upon.”

This follows a recent report that in the near future, we are going to see farming robots that are not only much cheaper than human labor, but capable of executing tasks with much more efficiency and accuracy. Such robots could lead to higher crop yields for farmers and a workforce that doesn’t need to rest every few hours.