IoT Automation Applications Classification (IAAC)
One goal of automation is to achieve maximum result with minimum effort, including mental and physical. From a simple household thermostat controlling a boiler as per user desire, through washing machines, refrigerators, and bus doors, to a large industrial control system, any task done automatically – in an automatic manner, without external human intervention – alleviates the burden of mundane activities and speeds up workflow processes with minimum or no human interaction. With automation, people can devote their time and energy to more valuable and meaningful work than doing repetitive, tedious tasks.
Advancement in technology has not changed the scope of automation but the means to achieve it. While past automation was purely or mainly achieved using analog means – Figure 1, modern automation makes extensive use of digital means – Figure 2. Computers and other electronic devices combined with more traditional mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical technologies are everywhere reducing human intervention in processes. In many practical applications of modern automation, things and systems operate automatically using both digital and analog information, not only the analog one such as in the past.
The convergence of emerging technologies and concepts such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning have drawn attention to the world of automation in an entirely new light. Nowadays, collecting and analyzing data to obtain meaningful information that leads to automated decision making can theoretically be as intelligent as possible for people and businesses. Individuals and organizations can do much more than they could have done before.
There are so many possible applications of automation that initiators can find themselves confused or just have no sense of what they can do and what can not. The aim of this paper is therefore to present a basic taxonomy for classification of automation applications with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) – Figure 3. This IoT Automation Applications Classification (IAAC), among others to be created, would serve as a starting point to orient managers and other controllers, as well as new visionaries, in the vast world of IoT automation.
After all, (almost) everything can be controlled (and automated).
Download the IAAC here.
Figure 1 – Analog automation examples
Figure 2 – Digital automation examples
Figure 3 – A conceptual overview of the Internet of Things (IoT)
1 Photo of the Antikythera mechanism. No machine-readable author provided. Marsyas assumed (based on copyright claims). CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
2 Photo of Leonardo’s robot by Erik Möller. Leonardo da Vinci. Mensch - Erfinder - Genie exhibit, Berlin 2005. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
3 Early wooden cuckoo clock, Black Forest, 1760-1780, Deutsches Uhrenmuseum Furtwangen, Inv. 03-2002. Photo by: Deutsches Uhrenmuseum, Furtwangen (Germany). Permission by: Deutsches Uhrenmuseum, Furtwangen (Germany). CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
4 Woodford, Chris. Toilets. Retrieved from ExplainThatStuff. Accessed 15 March 2022
5 (A) (B) (C) Automation and Control Systems Technologies - Course introduction (2022). Prof. Gianmaria De Tommasi. Web: Unina (D) Arduino Uno: Creative Tools derivative work: JotaCartas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
6 Photo by fancycrave1, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
7 Photo by ICAPlants, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
About the author
Just like any other technology, IoT too has its set of pros and cons. Discover all of them so you can decide for yourself if IoT is right for you.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been defined in a number of different ways in technical literature and popular media. Each definition reflects a different perspective and supports a different interest. While there is no universal definition of the IoT, these different definitions highlights IoT's common traits and can help illuminate its strenghts and weaknesses while giving us a good sense of the tremendous impact IoT has on our life.