From Digital Technology to Robotics: The Changes in our lives via Home Automation

The phrases and acronyms we commonly use now to discuss, just to name IoT(internet of things), big data, AI(Artificial Intelligence), and so on; are all happening right to your home. These are all ways of referring to the communication systems which now underlie all of our home automation. The entire set of technologies which enhance building automation for a home is termed itself as home automation or domotics. From every tool that is used inside the home to major tools outside – everything comes under it. AC, Fridge, Washing Machine, Dishwashers, Water Heaters, Grinders – you name it – all these have been improving our lives since decades. But clearly such technologies aren’t just improving our day-to-day lives but they are changing the way we think. By the time, various new tools and techniques have also appeared all meaning to the same – quality consumer experience, making even the human and the homes smarter.

Smart homes continue to use 12 volt electric actuators for choice, as this is the voltage for the motor which comes as standard for most actuators. This is useful for several reasons: one is that the omnipresent nature of the 12 volt motors means that these can be easily repaired as replacement parts are easily available. Another reason is that substitution of different actuators becomes a lot easier when they are all using the same basic motors as each other. Linear motion is something which is used in a lot of home automation, so having everything come with a specific factory standard is helpful as a baseline to begin from.

The change to hubs is apparently to make it easier for homeowners to control their homes, and the automation within it. However, as technology marches on, and more and more of what we own is automated, how will the hubs handle multiple people giving orders to it? Will there be a queue? Will one person get priority over another? How will this be determined? It is easy enough to have the hub prioritize adults over children for at least some functions, but what happens when other people are adults?

The ability to say who gets to do what is something which will be the subject of a lot of discussion in years to come.

The same is true of security systems – more and more of them now offer a remoter application, allowing them to be turned off remotely for ease of work, of passage, or just because the homeowner has a habit of forgetting to switch it on before they leave for work in the morning. However, is there a limit to who can switch these systems on and off? How do we decide who can do this? Security systems are notorious for being easy to hack into – when people do so, they can easily find the password, and then turn the system off without having to be near it themselves. How do we prevent this from happening?

The changes which are happening throughout our homes – moving from home automation which is very basic, to a fully integrated hub or robot, for example – is something which can be difficult to handle. We are used to technology which advances at a steady rate, but robotics is something which will completely change the way technological advancement is handled, and this will possibly be too much. The changes made are ones which we would otherwise have made, but at a much slower rate – it is our insistence that we bring robotics into the equation which has made our technology change so rapidly on all fronts, since there are a lot of different fields which are involved with robotics on a regular basis.

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