Yamaha joins the IoT race, launches new automation platform

Yamaha joins the IoT race, launches new automation platform

Yamaha joins the IoT race, launches new automation platform
(Credit: Yamaha)

Yamaha has launched its own Advanced Robotics Automation platform to better control its robot workforce through the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Japanese motor giant has integrated control of its robot system into one controller. The hope is that it will now be able to build automation production lines at a lower cost and in shorter time frames.

To achieve this, Yamaha has connected its robots through the IoT in order to have coordination and synchronous control over all of the transportation of parts, handling of the machines, image recognition, and control of peripheral devices during production.

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Yamaha develops IoT robots

Yamaha already claims to offer a comprehensive and wide-ranging line-up of industrial robots and peripheral devices required for automated processes. However, until now, control of these robots and peripheral devices involved installing one controller for each robot or device.

To get around this, the newly-developed “Advanced Robotics Automation Platform” enables integrated control of compatible robot products and peripheral devices with one controller. This brings significant benefits in terms of simplifying the design of automated production lines, as well as cost reductions and improvements in space efficiency, Yamaha claims.

Supposedly this integrated controller is compatible with a total of 91 models and 202 individual variants of robot, including Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arms (or SCARA robots), linear conveyor modules and single-axis robots.

A fragmented IoT market

The IoT market still does not have any universal standards, which has rendered the market incredibly fragmented and, as such, devices made by different companies will often not work with one another.

That said, as ReadWrite notes, Yamaha is clearly trying to fix this problem by adding a single, integrated controller. Though, with millions devices expected to be connected and developed in the next five years it’s unlikely to be enough.

In emailed comments to IoB, Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium, shed some light on Yamaha’s move.

“Yamaha’s announcement is recognition of the need for integration in the burgeoning, but fragmented, IoT marketplace,” he said. “As the industrial application of IoT – what we call the Industrial Internet – comes into its own, both vendors and users of IoT are realizing that integration of sensors and actuators to shared platforms is critical.”

“However, Industrial IoT is a team sport – one has to connect across many application domains, tools, and companies’ products – which explains the Industrial Internet Consortium’s testbed program, aimed squarely at that problem.”

Yamaha’s integrated controller will go on sale from December 1, 2016.

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