Robert (Bobby) Kennedy (1925-1968) was an American politician from Massachusetts. He was a United States junior senator from New York from January 1965 until June 1968, when he was assassinated. (Image: Wikipedia)
Automation – definition and meaning
Automation is the use of electronics and computer-controlled devices to assume control of processes. The aim of automation is to boost efficiency and reliability (not to be confuses with automated market maker). In most cases, however, automation replaces labor. In fact, economists today fear that new technology will eventually push up unemployment rates significantly.
In many manufacturing plants today, robotic assembly lines are progressively carrying out functions that humans used to do. The term ‘manufacturing’ refers to converting raw materials and components into finished goods, usually on a large scale in a factory.
Automation encompasses many key elements, systems, and job functions in virtually all industries. It is especially prevalent in manufacturing, transportation, facility operations, and utilities. Additionally, national defense systems are becoming increasingly automated.
“Replacing manual operations with electronics and computer-controlled devices. For example, ‘office automation’ replaced manual typewriters, filing cabinets and paper appointment books with computer applications.”
Artificial intelligence is gradually creeping into every aspect of our daily lives. Not only is it becoming more common in the workplace, but also in the home and even outdoors. Will it lead to a better quality of life and standard of living for humans, or a living hell?
Automation and the office environment
Over the past forty years, information technology has completely changed the office environment. Such functions as communication, documenting, correspondence, and filing have become fully automated. Offices today even feel and look completely different from what used to exist in the 1950s.
In the top image, I can see one human (yellow circle) and six cars. In the bottom picture, however, I can count six people working on just one car. Automation has dramatically changed manufacturing in car plants across the world. (Images: Today – autoalliance.org. 1920 – tchaunationalhistoryday.weebly.com)
The average office desk used to be full of materials and equipment. Examples included folders full of paper documents, calculators, phone books, staplers, diaries, and post-it-notes. There were also Filofaxes, sticky tape, pens, and even paper maps and atlases.
How many of us today use a map made of paper to find directions compared to thirty years ago? When you wanted to find somebody’s phone number, you had to look it up in a book. You could also telephone a service and talk to a human being. Today, however, we go online or talk to a robot programmed with voice-recognition software.
KEY PLANNED FEATURES FOR THE COMPLETED GAME:
- Extremely Deep, Technical, Creative – Experience unheard-of creative freedom in a highly technical, realistic gameplay experience revolving around building a car company from scratch. Go ahead and build your dream-car company!
- Dynamic World Markets – Master realistically modeled dynamic markets, distribution, and demand. Try to cater to the needs of over 40 different target groups and their needs, or find your safe-haven niche in a cutthroat economic environment.
- Flexible Car Designer – Design the cars you would have in your garage. Choose from diverse chassis types and materials, engine placements and drivetrain setups, gearboxes, suspensions, brakes, tyres, and finish off you design with fully customisable body types, looks and styles.
- Highly Detailed Engine Designer – Delve into endless possibilities combining different 4-stroke petrol engine configurations, internals, head types, forced induction systems, fuel systems, headers and mufflers. All based on different 4-stroke petrol engine configurations: Inline 3, 4, 5, 6, V6, 8, 10, 12, 16, Boxer 4, 6.
- Dynamic Engine Sounds – Turn up the volume and blast out the awesome fully adaptive, unique engine sounds that directly reflect your design choices.
- Grand Campaign, Scenarios, Sandbox – Aim to dominate the world markets with your superior design skills in the grand campaign, play a quick scenario challenge, or just tinker away in sandbox mode to create the most insane engines ever.
- Complex, yet Easy to Learn – While the game is highly technical, it is made easy to learn by means of well-illustrated in-game tutorial videos, detailed descriptive texts, as well as a multitude of tutorial scenarios.
- Network Play – Play cooperatively with your friends or take your intuition for the perfect car design and challenge up to 7 human competitors in epic, multi-session network games.
- Community – Join one of the most awesome and helpful communities out there, share stories about your exploits, talk to like-minded people, discuss your IRL car projects and engage in community challenges.
The Automation team is stoked to announce that in collaboration with BeamNG we have created a simple-to-use, in-game exporter that allows you to drive your Automation cars in BeamNG.drive, and explore a 3d version of the Automation Test Track!
For more info, check out the official announcement posted here on Steam and the Exporter FAQ.
Sahi automation framework is the last in this list of best test automation frameworks that we will be discussing in this list. But why? you might ask. Because that’s what Sahi wants to be. Let me clarify. The motto of Sahi is, “When you have tried all the tools and still haven’t found the one that works perfect for your complex test cases, that’s when we come in.” Sahi wants you to try and test all the tools and then see how different and efficient it is.
13 Best Test Automation Frameworks: The 2021 List
Automation frameworks enable automation testers by simplifying the test development and execution activities. A typical automation framework provides an environment for executing test plans and generating repeatable output. They are specialized tools that assist you in your everyday test automation tasks. Whether it is a test runner, an action recording tool, or a web testing tool, it is there to remove all the hard work from building test scripts and leave you with more time to do quality checks. Test Automation is a proven, cost-effective approach to improving software development. Therefore, choosing the best test automation framework can prove crucial to your test results and QA timeframes.
As per the State of open source survey, almost 37% of organizations now integrate test automation into their Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery(CI/CD) process, enabling developers to instantly know whether or not the latest code change broke any aspect of the application after it’s deployed to production. When paired with the number of testers doing test automation testing with each sprint (40%), organizations have reported that more than 75% of their projects can perform test automation at least every two weeks. So, how often is test automation carried out in your organization?
With the ever-rising demand for automation testing frameworks, it is no surprise that there are so many available out there. We have written down the best ones available in 2021 (in no particular order), along with what features they provide. If this could help you better your automation testing game, do not hesitate to give it a try!
Okay, so what’s Ansible?
IT automation has many separate uses, or use cases. The ultimate realization of the benefits of IT automation comes in when you start combining use cases. Or, even better, when you combine all of them into a single system. That’s where Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform comes into play.
Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is Red Hat’s software for automating provisioning, configuration, management, and deployment. Ansible carries out these activities through the use of playbooks—Ansible’s instructions and language for automation.
This is the brains behind all things Ansible. It shares the same name with the open source community project, Ansible, and is fundamentally identical to that project. But, being a formal offering from Red Hat brings other benefits, like support, remediation, and in-depth documentation.
AWX brings an easy-to-use user interface (UI) and dashboard for Ansible. It lets users see everything happening across their nodes, centralize automation, grant role-based access, schedule jobs, and more. It also gives real-time information of playbook runs and natively supports cloud deployments.
Concerns about process automation
Because automation shifts tasks, particularly to technology, workers have expressed fears that automation will decrease jobs. Robots’ ability to perform jobs especially raises concerns: some research suggests that approximately 25% of jobs are endangered by automation. However, automation and AI aren’t advanced enough to completely steal that percentage of jobs, and other experts argue that automation makes room for the creation of more jobs.
The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century also raised these questions. Although its ramifications included some social upheaval and the fight for workers’ rights, it didn’t end up destroying job availability. The job market has completely shifted over the past two hundred years, and positions have opened that people wouldn’t have been able to imagine during the first or second industrial revolution. Process automation isn’t yet poised to eliminate the majority of positions.
Azure Automation supports Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC) to regulate access to the Automation account and its resources. To learn more about configuring Azure RBAC on your Automation account, runbooks, and jobs, see Role-based access control for Azure Automation.
25 Awesome Automation Projects
Automation allows the benefit of automating tasks and minimizing human involvement. This has led to a lot of people working on automation projects, as these are fun to create and have around the house. Here we look at some automation projects that you can use around your house to reduce effort. Many of these automation projects use Arduino, these should also provide a learning experience into automation systems. If you have some automation projects you would like added to the list, let us know in the comments section below.
In this DIY project, we are going to make an Internet of Things (IoT) home automation system that allows you to control your home devices with voice commands in your preferred language like Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, and so on.
Voice Controlled Home Automation System
This is a project for a voice controlled home automation system to control appliances with your voice through an Android app. An Arduino Mega board is used for controlling the relay through which an appliance is switched on/off. You can modify the Android app to add more functions. The circuit consists of Arduino Mega 2560 board for comparing the input string received through Bluetooth with the stored string to give output and control the relay.
Nowadays, people have smartphones with them all the time. So, it makes sense to use these to control home appliances. Presented here is a home automation system using a simple Android app, which you can use to control electrical appliances with clicks or voice commands. Commands are sent via Bluetooth to Arduino Uno. So, you need not get up to switch on or switch off the device while watching a movie or doing some work. The home automation circuit is built around an Arduino Uno board, Bluetooth module HC-05 and a 3-channel relay board.
Process Automation in Azure Automation allows you to automate frequent, time-consuming, and error-prone management tasks. This service helps you focus on work that adds business value. By reducing errors and boosting efficiency, it also helps to lower your operational costs. The process automation operating environment is detailed in Runbook execution in Azure Automation.
Process automation supports the integration of Azure services and other third party systems required in deploying, configuring, and managing your end-to-end processes. The service allows you to author graphical, PowerShell and Python runbooks. To run runbooks directly on the Windows or Linux machine or against resources in the on-premises or other cloud environment to manage those local resources, you can deploy a Hybrid Runbook Worker to the machine.
Change Tracking and Inventory
Change Tracking and Inventory combines functions to allow you to track Linux and Windows virtual machine and server infrastructure changes. The service supports change tracking across services, daemons, software, registry, and files in your environment to help you diagnose unwanted changes and raise alerts. Inventory support allows you to query in-guest resources for visibility into installed applications and other configuration items. For details of this feature, see Change Tracking and Inventory.
Azure Automation State Configuration
Azure Automation State Configuration is a cloud-based feature for PowerShell desired state configuration (DSC) that provides services for enterprise environments. Using this feature, you can manage your DSC resources in Azure Automation and apply configurations to virtual or physical machines from a DSC pull server in the Azure cloud.
Warehouse Automation Trends & Statistics
More than 90% of warehouse operators report that cost-cutting measures are critical to successfully balance the need for more space and services and the difficulty of hiring and retaining a qualified workforce to meet demand. Failing to plan for these trends may cost more than the expenses associated with warehouse automation.
What is the State of Robotics and Automation in Warehousing Now?
Modern warehouses focus less on traditional storage roles and more on value-added services, order customization and rapid flow-through processes that stage products according to just-in-time inventory principles.
- Robotics: The investment in warehouse robotics startups increased by 57% in the first quarter of 2020 to more than $380 million. The trend will continue to see momentum in a post-pandemic economy and areas with workforce shortages, like Japan.
- Cobotics: Cobotics refers to a collaboration between person and robot (cooperation and robotics forms cobotics). Cobots, designed to work with people, do not replace human tasks. Cobots in warehouse automation include AMRs that can scan their environment. This cobot AMR can avoid collisions with humans and human-operated machinery by recognizing changes in its 360-degree field of vision and can safely drive backward when necessary.
- Supply Chain as a Service: Warehouse service-based markets are growing to fill the demand for flexible warehouse operations and automated technology like autonomous robots. Companies offering subscription-based, full-service automated warehouse solutions seek to replace manufacturers and service providers that offer automated equipment and system sales.
- Blockchain Technology: Although still in its infancy, blockchain technology is a secure automated network that uses cryptography to create data transfers in blocks on a shared digital ledger. Blockchain technology has implications for warehouse operations and inventory management because of its advanced data authentication, validation and transparency. Blockchain databases could allow every stakeholder in complex supply chains to connect and share permanent, automated records for every transaction made, with shared data storage accessible to everyone within the secure network.
- Warehouse Drones: Intelligent drone fleets powered by advanced algorithms and connected to cloud-based WMS can help manage inventory inside warehouses. Some warehouse drones are equipped with visual sensors or barcode scanners to track inventory and automate procedures like cycle counting.
- Fast Shipping: The “Amazon effect” of one- or two-day shipping has created intense demand for rapid online shipments regardless of who sells the product. Same-day shipping will continue to drive warehouse automation that speeds up order fulfillment tasks like picking and improves the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of automated packaging and shipping procedures.
- Warehouse Cleaning: There is already a market for automated industrial-sized robotic floor cleaners that navigate complex warehouse layouts. Now, a new class of automated mobile cleaning robots is emerging to safely sanitize and disinfect high-touch indoor workplaces like warehouses and distribution centers with UV lights and sanitization chemicals.
- Mobile Shelving: Amazon is the most famous example of companies using GTP systems powered by AGVs and AGRs. The autonomous robot fleets can load and transport mobile shelving units with stored inventory to designated locations. This enables workers to pick orders with minimal movement and walking time.
- Autonomous Vehicles: Autonomous robotic forklifts are already in use at automated warehouse and distribution centers. Autonomous vehicles are expected to move further up the supply chain to include automated delivery trucks that transport inventory between warehouses, manufacturers and retail locations.
- ERP Integrations: API technology and machine learning (ML) are empowering automation systems that integrate with ERP suites to create an end-to-end automated business platform. Further improvements in automation and ERP applications will free up back-office workforces to perform more value-added, creative and customer-focused tasks.
- Big Data: The move toward cloud-based applications and databases capable of collecting, processing and storing large datasets that are easily accessible will drive data analytics around warehouse operations further.
- IoT: Although not strictly an emerging technology, RFID sensors continue to be a driver for new IoT applications that streamline supply chains and warehouse operations. IoT expands warehouse visibility by providing location data on equipment and inventory in real time. The mobility, affordability and real-time inventory tracking capability of RFID sensors provide enhanced data collection capabilities across systems.
- Wireless Fleet Management: Innovations in IoT applications, cloud databases and sensor technology has created the ability to manage automated fleet vehicles wirelessly. Onboard computers communicate telemetry to your system with detailed information about equipment location, maintenance schedules and accident alerts.
How Much Does It Cost to Automate Your Warehouse?
To determine if warehouse automation is right for your business, start by calculating your estimated ROI. Estimate the budget for current warehouse labor and existing equipment and include any expected annual increases. Next, calculate your average turnover rate for warehouse employees and factor in the cost of hiring and training new employees. Now, determine the purchase cost of the new automated systems and equipment, and factor in estimated labor and cost savings, training and implementation costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. Finally, compare these figures to determine the estimated minimum ROI for warehouse automation.
In addition to cost and ROI calculations, consider how warehouse automation might impact other operations. For example, if you’re upgrading to digital process automation software or a feature-rich WMS solution, how will the new system create value for other warehouse functions? Will you save time and resources with warehouse documentation procedures for purchase orders and invoicing? How will an automated platform improve your cash flow tied to supply chain operations? What about customer service metrics? How will automated warehouse processes and procedures improve your omnichannel and delivery capabilities or product offerings?