Towards 2020: The Rise of Connected Smart Machines

Connected smart machines today possess superior processing power and memory capacity but to enable them to be truly autonomous and valuable, we need to not only ensure adequate connectivity and mobility but also that the data generated is collected and contextualized.
A man sitting on hi knees in a lab

One of the big waves in the current surge of digitalization and mobility is the imminent increase in connected smart machines such as autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots. These machines are capable of context-driven operations by recognizing and analyzing their environment; learning from continuous feedback loops and acting autonomously.

So what’s new? The development and application of intelligent autonomous systems has in the past been hampered primarily due to lack of sufficient processing power and memory capacity. With tremendous advancements being made in these two fields, a few more essential building blocks are required for true autonomous operation:

  • Sensors to collect massive amounts of data from the system. There are more than 300 categories of sensors available today, allowing for potentially infinite combinations for data collection. It is by merging data from this multitude of sensors, that a superior baseline for intelligent processing is created. Photo detectors, radars, gyroscopes and accelerometers are just some examples of sensor technologies. A typical smartphone today already has 10-15 different sensors.

  • Machine learning to contextualize sensor data. One can drown in the massive data lakes created by all these sensors. Machine learning is the scientific discipline that explores the construction and study of algorithms that can learn from data – i.e. it helps the machines learn how to swim. Machine learning algorithms operate by building contextual awareness based on data and using that to make predictions or decisions on the system's operation.

  • Connectivity and mobility. Ubiquitous and reliable connectivity is essential for these smart machines to be truly mobile and 5G is the new access network capable of supporting current and future requirements emerging from smart machines - whether it is an autonomous car or autonomous robot line production.

One of the biggest challenges today is to put an intelligent framework in place to enable general autonomous operation that encapsulates all of the above paradigms. We at Ericsson are helping build this fascinating future, today.

Read about some of our initiatives below:

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Aniruddho Basu

Written by:

Aniruddho Basu

Vice President, Technology Portfolio & Advisory for the Ericsson Group


Aniruddho Basu is Vice President, Technology Portfolio & Advisory for the Ericsson Group, and is also the Principal Advisor to the Group CTO. His responsibilities include Technology Foresight & Scanning, Technology Strategy, Network Security, Partnerships, and Portfolio Development. One of his current focus areas in Ericsson is 5G and related technology and ecosystem development. Aniruddho has 20 years’ experience in the ICT sector and has worked for a number of multinational companies. He has been with Ericsson since 2003 and has held roles in Sales, Business Development, Product Development, Strategy and Portfolio Management. He holds an MBA in International Business, and a BE in Electronics & Communications.