TechDogs-"Everything You Must Know About Automation"

Automation

Everything You Must Know About Automation

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Overview

Imagine there’s a power cut in your locality. You wait for power to come back in a few hours but you find out that it's a major issue - power will not be for the next two days! That's the weekend. Oh lord!

Who will help you with the dirty clothes in the laundry bag, if not for the washing machine? Or the pile of dirty dishes waiting in the sink, if not for the dishwasher? Moreover, how on Earth you will cook your favorite chicken pot recipe if not for the food processor? Does your world not turn upside down by the mere thought of this scenario? Welcome to the 21st century, where living in a world without Automation is a big no!

Automation technologies, be it automated sensors in an autonomous car or conveyor belts and robotic machines in industries (or devices that help you with daily chores!), are everywhere. This is the norm in the modern era and thinking of a day without it is a nightmare.

Automation has a lot in store in this ever-evolving world and will grow exponentially in the coming years. Thus, it is essential to learn what, when and why of Automation. Allow us to walk you through this evolving technology in this article - read on!
TechDogs-"Everything You Must Know About Automation"-Growing Old Is Easy With These Auto-Mates
Guess the movie’s name!

Don’t let people take away your potential, Chappie.

Yeah, the name has it all! These lines are from the movie Chappie. Yes, the same 2015 dystopian sci-fi movie in which robot police saved the city of Johannesburg. In the movie, the idea of using robots as a part of the police force turns out to be a lifesaver. Not to mention Chappie, the star robot of the movie who can mimic the human mind to a point where he feels emotions and has opinions, was one of a kind. This is a new kind of life form, a new step in evolution. With his intelligence, Chappie saved himself and the life of Deon, the engineer who created him. However, Automation is not all about robots.

Any technology that reduces human intervention is Automation. Be it IT automation, business automation, business process automation, robotic process automation, industrial automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, or deep learning. No one can deny that Automation has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. This article will help you decode the meaning of Automation, trace its evolution and track its future. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s read Gangsta!
 

Let’s Start With The Basics – What Is Automation?


TechDogs-"Let’s Start With The Basics – What Is Automation?"-An Image Of Chappie Holding Blocks That Read His Name.
Automation is the process of eliminating human involvement in the production and distribution of goods and services. It improves efficiency, reliability, and/or speed in tasks that previously relied on human labor.

Do you remember the scene where the government of South Africa decided to involve robot police in the force? Well, their decision proved fruitful and the city was saved in no time. All thanks to Automation which increased the efficiency, reliability and speed of decreasing the crime rate in the city.

Automation is not a new concept, it has only evolved with time. If we look back at the prehistorical time, people there were in constant search of new and effective ways to get the job done.
Let’s dig deeper into the past of Automation in the next section. Shall we?
 

Roots Of Automation


In every century, people were eager to simplify their tasks and thus, ended up with Automation. Read on to know how Automation traveled from the Stone Age to the 21st century!
 
  • Prehistory

    Few knew that the first noted tools to boost productivity via automation were fishing nets. Yes, you read it right! Sinkers used them in streams in South Korea, dating back as far as 27,000 BCE.

  • The Renaissance

    It was the time when Johannes Gutenberg developed the movable type printing press that changed the face of the mass printing of books. During the same period, Blaise Pascal introduced a mechanical calculator, which laid the foundation of computational technology.

  • The First Industrial Revolution

    During this period, technological developments were pushed to entirely new levels. How? James Watt’s rotatory motion steam engine, Edmund Cartwright’s power loom that reduced the labor needed to manufacture complex textiles and Andrew Meikle’s threshing machine that automated the agricultural process.

  • The Second Industrial Revolution

    The Bell Telephone Company began utilizing automatic telephonic switchboards in 1919, shortly after Henry Ford introduced the moving assembly line to mass production in 1913.

  • The Third Industrial Revolution

    In the third industrial revolution, also known as Digital Revolution, advancing computer technology enabled exponential technological progress.

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution

    Machine Learning (ML) has enabled the automatic extraction and interpretation of data. Not only this, the latest advancements in biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and 3D printing have already propelled advancements in Automation, which will not slow down.


Today, more than ever, the human race is in continuous search of new ways to maximize productivity and minimize labor. Tag along to know the working of Automation in the following section.
 

How Does Automation Work?


TechDogs-"How Does Automation Work?"-A Still From The Movie Where Chappie Is Holding A Gun.
Fun Fact – Chappie was not this cool before becoming a human-like robot. He was just like other police robots who could not make decisions by themselves. The story changed for Chappie after Deon reprogrammed him. He started working entirely differently and the rest is history.

Every automated system has a different mechanism; however, the following three components play a vital role in the working of every Automation:
 
  • Bot Creator

    It serves as a software development environment. Developers create rule-based Automation using a drag-and-drop method. These are then pushed to the control room for development and if applicable, deployed.

  • Control Room

    Robots can be started, stopped, tested, or scheduled to check in this room. Code can be pushed to or retrieved from the control room. Not only this, it is the place where credentials and audit logs are stored.

  • Bot Runner

    This component runs robots on dedicated machines for test use-case. Additionally, the end-to-end status of the bot runner is reported to the control room and made changes accordingly, if any.


After learning the basics of working with Automation, let’s hop on to know its types in the next section.
 

Types Of Automation


Automated devices are everywhere! Don’t you believe us? Well, look at the water purifier in your kitchen, the coffee machine in your office and the one that helps us with mobility (of course, we are talking about your luxurious, automatic car, duh!). These devices surrounding us come under various types of Automation.
 
  • Basic Automation

    To automate simple tasks is known as basic automation. This level of Automation is about simplifying work by using tools to streamline and centralize usual tasks, such as using a shared messaging system to disseminate information instead of keeping it in disconnected silos.

  • Process Automation

    Business processes can be automated to ensure consistency and transparency. Process automation is typically accomplished through dedicated software or business apps. This form of Automation may increase productivity and efficiency in your business. It can also provide new perspectives on business issues and offer solutions. What more can you ask for?

  • Integration Automation

    Human tasks can be mimicked by machines (we have already seen this in Chappie) and repeated once the machine rules are defined in integration automation. The best example of this form is a digital employee.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation is the most complex level of Automation. You may ask why? In this, machines can learn and make decisions based on the situations they already have encountered using AI. Our protagonist – Chappie - is the best example of this form of Automation.


After knowing Chappie is under which form of Automation, let’s head on to the next part - the benefits of Automation.
 

Benefits Of Automation


It is no hidden truth that Automation has made our lives easier. From a bare minimum pulley to a futuristic police force like in Chappie, Automation is the need of an hour and why not, after all, it has many benefits. Let’s look at some of them here:
 
  • Productivity

    Your employees can devote more time to boosting your company’s performance and let the software handle the grunt work.

  • Reliability

    With Automation, you avoid oversights and issues by reducing human involvement. Every process, test, update, workflow and so on occur exactly the same way – every time. You know exactly when things occur, how long they take and that the results are trustworthy.

  • Easier Governance

    The more the merrier does not gel well at the management stage. Why? Huh! more people will result in more knowledge gaps, which will eventually result in delayed output. Thus, automating everything provides better control.


Automation has a long road to cover. Let’s look at some of its future trends in the section below.
 

The Road To The Future Of Automation


TechDogs-"The Road To The Future Of Automation"-An Image Of Yolandi As A Robot.
Do you remember the scene in which Chappie transferred Yolandi into a robot, as her body was destroyed? Do you think that scene was quite futuristic? Well, for 2015 it was; however, we live in 2022, where semantic automation has started to spread its wings. Semantic automation is the new-gen Automation in which bots will simply observe activity and then imitate it without instructions. With semantic automation, bots will be able to recognize every touchpoint of the process, such as its starting point, ending point, steps involved, source of data, etc. This will revolutionize business processes by escaping stepwise guidance for new tasks. Cool, isn’t it?

Another breakthrough in Automation will be the automation layer. Those who don’t know what we are talking about, let us help you. An automation layer refers to virtual robots and assistance. Now, you will say that we already have Siri or Google or Cortana to help us with our work. We are talking about real office assistance (disclaimer – not employees) that will help you with all your mundane office tasks. After all, who likes to manually copy-paste information? Well, now we know who!


The End


Introducing robots into the police force was a good decision in the movie Chappie. It helped the police force to save time and resources from danger. By saving time and reallocating resources, companies can remain small and agile all by automating processes. Increased efficiency, productivity and lower costs all contribute to healthier profit margins for both big and small businesses. All thanks to Automation! It is still unclear whether Automation will substantially impact the economy; however, it appears inevitable that we will see more Automation in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Automation?


Automation refers to the process of reducing human involvement in the production and distribution of goods and services. It entails employing technology to enhance efficiency, reliability, and speed in tasks that previously relied on human labor. From IT automation to business process automation and even advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, automation has become integral across various sectors, revolutionizing how tasks are accomplished.

What Are the Roots of Automation?


The concept of automation traces back through human history, with each era witnessing advancements aimed at simplifying tasks and improving productivity. From the development of tools such as fishing nets in prehistoric times to inventions like the movable type printing press during the Renaissance and the introduction of power looms and threshing machines during the Industrial Revolution, automation has continuously evolved. In modern times, technological breakthroughs like machine learning and AI have propelled automation to new heights, shaping the way we work and live.

How Does Automation Work?


Automation operates through various components that enable the execution of automated tasks. These components typically include a bot creator for developing automation rules, a control room for managing and monitoring automated processes, and a bot runner responsible for executing tasks on dedicated machines. By leveraging these components, automated systems can streamline workflows, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency in both simple and complex tasks.

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Tags:

Automation Technology Semantic Automation Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation Integration Automation Process Automation Basic Automation

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