General Motors is keen on recreating Skynet. Not really, but it has connected a quarter of its 30,000 automated machines to the internet to reduce downtime and failures. Bloomberg reports GM has already seen the benefits of connecting its robots to the internet, and they’ve avoided helped the automaker avoid 100 potential assembly failures.
“If we can avoid a disruption in our manufacturing, we can save ourselves a significant amount of money,” Mark Franks, director of global automation, said. “It’s a pretty good payback.”
The avoidance comes after the robots analyze data sent to external servers in the cloud. But the internet robots are good at other things, too. They can detect when a particular part is running low and order more, saving time, money and help keep inventories from mounting in offsite facilities.
The automotive industry as a whole has taken to robotics and technology, more than any other field. Last year, automotive factories installed 7,600 robots compared with 5,100 for electronics manufacturers and 1,900 for metal producers. Robots connected to the world wide web are likely only the beginning.
“The amount of technology coming at us in the next five years is probably more than we’ve seen in the last 50,” Franks said.