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This Week in IoT: Intel and Arm Unite

The world of IoT is moving fast. Here are five stories from the past week you may have missed.

Cobot Rings the Final Bell

No need to fear the robotic uprising—at least not yet. But the bell has sounded on cobots or collaborative robots that physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. On October 17, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) witnessed the first robotic arm to ring its closing bell.

The Universal Robot’s UR5e arm with supporting embedded electronics was intended to show how easily cobots can safely interact with humans—even those in financial markets. The unusual bell-ringer was surrounded by human supporters on the podium at the @NYSE to celebrate the anniversary of @ROBOGlobal, creator of the first benchmark index series that tracks robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence companies around the world.

Platform-Independent IoT Device Onboarding

Speaking of collaborative robots, two of the world’s biggest semiconductor companies are now collaborating to reduce bottlenecks associated with wide-scale deployment of IoT. Last week, @Inteliot and @Arm announced a strategic partnership to greatly reduce complexity associated with the onboarding process for IoT devices.

You already know that onboarding, i.e., securing and provisioning of IoT devices to a network, can be a terribly slow manual process. Intel® had already developed a secure onboarding service that provides rapid, platform-neutral provisioning. The Intel-Arm collaboration is looking to take this idea to the next level.

Securing the Manufacturing Process

While security of IoT devices is critical during the onboarding process, different security issues are present during the manufacturing effort. The global and distributed nature of the IoT device supply chain only exacerbates security challenges during manufacturing.

Consider a potential backdoor attack on the embedded system in a smart lock. While the lock manufacturer will spare no expense to create a secure product, can the same attention to security be said of the contract manufacturer (CM) that assembles and tests the lock? A simple bribe of one of the CM employees could leave the lock firmware open to backdoor hacking.

Antennas in a Can

Could installing an antenna be as easy as applying bug spray? Researchers at @DrexelUniv think so. If they’re right and the spray-on antennas outperform existing metal ones, then IoT manufacturing and deployment could be much easier and faster. The clear, ink-like spray-on EM radiators could enable flexible substrates, ordinary windows, or data center walls to be made into antennas. Think what this would mean to the data-collecting landscape! Airbrushing antennas on substrates and windows would open up new, previously unimagined places to set up IoT networks. 

IIoT and Industry 4.0 Competitive Basics

Still struggling to fully understand the basics of IIoT and Industry 4.0? Well, you’re not alone. To remain competitive with manufacturing throughout the global economy means that technical professionals must understand these technologies and related movements. But understanding without action is not enough. Waiting for the price of these technologies to drop before investing in them will only give your competitors the advantage. The bottom line is: Don’t wait! This handy article will help you make sense of IIoT terminology, technology, and trends.

About the Author

John covers today’s latest high-tech, science and even science fiction in blogs, magazine articles, books and videos. He is an experienced physicist, engineer, journalist, author and professor who continues to speak at major conferences and before the camera on TV.

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