- 47% of organizations planned increase their IoT investments
- 76% of enterprises have increased automation initiatives
Companies can leverage more automation in their IoT investments to increase the ROI of both automation and IoT initiatives.
In this article, we will explain what RPA IoT is, its 3 benefits to companies, and 12 use cases.
What is RPA IoT?
End users are starting to talk about RPA IoT to highlight how RPA tools can bring no code automation to IoT devices.
RPA IoT is leveraging robotic process automation in internet of things projects to deliver quick, automated, and data-driven responses to events.
How does RPA IoT work?
IoT sensors gather data from the equipment and/or the environment they are placed on/in. For example:
- A smart soil sensor picks up soil’s moisture level.
- A GPS sensor gathers a semi-truck’s real-time location.
- A smart shelf sensor displays a shelf’s inventory level for proactive replenishment.
RPA technology can help combine these siloed datasets and send them to ERP systems and 3rd party applications to create new business intelligence.
What are the benefits of RPA IoT?
1. Improved operational excellence
Operational excellence is the general principle of optimizing the different dimensions of a business to meet established KPIs. RPA and IoT integration allows companies to get closer to those ideals.
IoT devices can extract the data generated from from processes, environments, and equipment. This gives businesses an as-is picture of each building block within the larger process functions. For example, monitoring the number of bottles a bottle-filling machine has filled gives an accurate report for the day’s production (Figure 1).
RPA technology enables companies to extract and pit the data against KPIs and historical data to pinpoint deviations. This business intelligence allows for pinpointing areas with improvement.
2. Decreasing manual interventions
- Worksites, and more.
Robotic process automation, too, has countless use cases. The wide applicability of these artificial intelligence technologies allows businesses to use them conjunctionally to automate repetitive tasks within existing systems.
A medication reminder1 is an IoT healthcare device (Figure 2). Online pharmacy services can use software robots to get the real-time content of the pillboxes. And then to send refill requests. This will minimize human intervention in process.
3. Real-time responses
RPA IoT integration enables real-time responses to events for business continuity. In insurtech, for example, CCTV cameras and sensors are used during claims management for assessment and verification.
The videos can be scanned by image recognition sensors, in real-time, reactively and proactively:
- Proactively to send automated alerts to authorities to summon them to the scene
- Reactively to confirm the insured’s claims
What are the use cases of RPA IoT?
The main use cases of RPA IoT are the following:
Internet of Things (IoT) cameras can monitor worksites and offices for safety compliance. RPA bots can record the timestamps of identified noncompliances and include them on end-of-day reports.
2. Quality control
IoT devices can scan manufactured products for quality control to increase service quality. RPA bots can then cross-match each product’s image with its serial number to verify quality control check. For instance, in motherboard production, heat sensors can show whether all the components are in the correct place without having to dismantle them .
3. Predictive maintenance
The sensors on production equipments can display the health of the machine. RPA bots can monitor the figures and compare them against KPIs to schedule maintenance.
Soil sensors allow for real time collection of soil’s moisture level. RPA bots can access the data from the cloud and schedule the smart irrigators accordingly, by following rules-based frameworks.
IoT sensors can monitor the weight of the crops and the time of the day. RPA bots can then send notifications to the farmer, or initiate the smart robots, to start the harvesting process, depending on whether the crop’s weight is ideal.
Learn more about:
6. Inventory management
Internet of Things sensors can be used on shelves in retail stores and stock rooms. They can note, in real-time, the quantity of products on the shelf through their weight. RPA bots can use their OCR capability to place reorders once the stock falls below a certain level.
7. Fleet management
GPS sensors can send real-time shipping containers to the cloud. RPA bots would take the data, structure it, and send it to the warehouse manager to notify them in real-time of the whereabouts of their shipments. For incoming materials, this can ensure that manufacturing is on-time. For outgoing ones, this can ensure that downstream entities are getting their goods in time.
8. Listings creation
RPA bots can use the data from cameras (such as the number of cameras placed in each bedroom) to determine how many bedrooms a house has. Image recognition can also help RPA bots add details to the listing, such as whether the kitchen is open or the garden has a pool inside.
9. Smart temperature
Smart thermostats gather outside temperature data and transfer it to the edge of the cloud. RPA bots take the data automatically, determine what should happen to the temperature, and “order” accordingly.
10. Power outage identification
RPA bots can send automated alerts to technicians whenever a sensor’s data is showing an outage. Moreover, some RPA bots also have the technical feasibility to orchestrate other AI technologies for self-service maintenance.
11. Water management
Water sensors can monitor water levels in dams, underground pipes, and reservoirs to monitor inflows and outflows. The unstructured and disparate data coming from different sensors can be turned into reports by RPA bots to be analyzed daily.
12. Pipelines and wells’ monitoring
Internet of Things sensors and RPA software bots can monitor and report the health status of pipelines and wells. Variables such as heat, vibration, and isolation can be factored in a while determining whether maintenance needs to be done.
Solid infrastructure can lead to shorter production lead times.
For more on RPA & IoT
To learn more about the different use cases of IoT and RPA technologies, read:
And if you’t want to invest in either of these technologies, head over to our data-driven lists of:
We will help you through out the selection process:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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