Automation

Bill Gates Once Said

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Over recent years automation has become a feature of day to day life and our lives are now often assisted or even controlled by technology.

A prime example of this is an automatic toilet found on many high streets. After each use the toilet is programmed to clean itself saving thousands of pounds on maintenance and is arguably more hygienic because it is cleaned after every use.

It occurs to me that automated systems are no longer reserved for the world of the production line and that the general public are now the largest consumer base for automated systems – how many things are automated, for example in your house? Central Heating? Oven Timer? Lights? ….. if you think about it you can probably compile quite a long list.

My favourite example is Auto Cleaner – the automatic vacuum cleaner (iTorchless 2009). The robot can be placed in a room and periodically will detach itself from the base unit, vacuum the floor taking care to go round corners and avoid obstacles. When the task is complete the machine will re-dock and perform the task again a few hours later.

The question that I think we must ask ourselves is what would happen if some of this technology went wrong? I guess an automated light failing to switch on wouldn’t be particularly drastic, but what if your heating failed to switch on in the middle of winter leading to a burst pipe?

This begs the question ….. are we becoming too reliant on technology to assist with our every day lives? What do you think?

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Categories: Automation, Invention, Technology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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