The Internet of Things is something which has been growing in the public eye for the past half-decade or so, mostly being seen as the next logical step from the home automation which has been extremely popular. We are only now beginning to understand the application of the Internet of Things, as the connectivity which it implies has the potential to change almost everything we do. Being connected to our homes is one thing, but being connected to somewhere on the other side of the world is something else entirely, and it raises questions of what can be done beyond the control of linear actuators and other tools. The Internet of Things is growing and expanding as we grow and expand our technological abilities, and what we can do with it is growing at the same rate, which is something that has brought to light uses we would never have otherwise considered.
What is the Internet of Things?
The history of the Internet of Things actually stretches back several decades. The only reason it is only now reaching the public eye is because of the limits of our technology at the time. Now that our technology has reached the point where such things are feasible, the Internet of Things is set to be the next biggest thing on our radar. What we know as the Internet of Things is a network of physical devices and sensors, software and network appliances which are all connected. It is believed by researchers that the connections between all of these devices will enable the faster and freer exchange of information around the connections, allowing us to be more connected and more in contact with each other and our homes at all times. The initial uses of this have been in the realm of home automation.
How the Internet of Things Changes Everything
The Internet of Things will change everything we do, that much is undeniable. Far beyond our ability to speak to our homes in a way that wasn’t possible before (one of the initially stressed benefits of IoT was that our houses would be able to speak to us; for example the fridge would be able to tell us if we were out of milk), the Internet of Things will allow devices to talk to each other from around the world, no matter the distance involved, and perhaps even collaborate on different types of work.
Connections between devices could possibly lead to changes in the way we work, since one device in one country could ideally set of workings in another country – this is something which would work best in fully automated plants, with some type of signal sparking work to start in another location. The Internet of Things could lead to a situation where manufacturing at least is entirely handled by machines.
IoT and Actuators
Linear actuators are so important to the Internet of Things because they form an integral part of so many different pieces of equipment, both in the home and out of it. Security systems are a good example of this. Since linear actuators are used in many systems to extend the use and range of a camera, the Internet of Things can use it in a variety of ways:
having the sensors of the system tripped can mean that the Internet of Things is triggered to send information from the security system to a mobile device of some kind;
to warn the appropriate people about the possible security breach. IoT actuators can also be controlled in themselves: to use the security system analogy again, the Internet of Things (having detected a possible problem), can take control of the actuators and turn the camera to where it needs to go, to see what is happening more clearly.
Why Actuators Get to the Internet of Things
An actuators role in IoT is integral to the overall process. Without it, then the Internet of things would be unable to make the needed changes on its own, and which would be reduced to simply controlling and interacting with various devices.
The Internet of Things is dependent on electric actuators because that is how it causes movement. If there are no linear actuators, then the internet has no physical form itself – so nothing will happen.
Actuators are also a good way of expanding the Internet of Things in their own right, as they enable us to make changes remotely, and also to help communication over greater distances, which is something that can help with beginning processes which need to happen in a specific order.
How Actuators Could be Controlled Through IoT
Internet of Things automation can be controlled through an open source platform such as Raspberry Pi, or Arduino. While Raspberry Pi is more basic than Arduino, it is a small computer which can be used with various peripherals and in\out switches, leading to somebody with that form of a computer being able to use it through the Internet of Things to control any actuators which are connected to it.
Raspberry Pi can function almost as a server in that it opens the door for processes to happen which couldn’t otherwise happen, or at least couldn’t happen without some form of direct input from a controller.
Building the Internet of Things with the Arduino open-source platform is of course, slightly different to using Raspberry Pi, mostly due to the size differences. Arduino is an open-source platform which deals with both input and output signals. If it recognizes a specific input which it has been trained to recognize, or which is directly attached to it in some way, then it can send a signal elsewhere. The uses for linear actuators are therefore easy to see: one signal received by something in Arduino could be the trigger for some linear actuators to start in particular machinery, if they received an outgoing signal themselves. Because of the huge nature of Arduino, and its open-source platform, the possibilities for linear technology in the Internet of Things is almost endless.
The Internet of Things is growing so fast that numerous possibilities are coming to light as to what we could do with it. Though most people know about it from home automation, there is a lot more to the Internet of Things, with people now thinking that it could be used around the world as a tool for communication between various devices and networks. This article went into some detail about how specifically linear actuators would be affected by the Internet of Things, and how they could be controlled and used by us.