Interesting IoT Inventions from Hoosier Companies

Interesting IoT Inventions from Hoosier Companies

Companies are using internet-enabled equipment and IoT in all kinds of cool ways these days, and some of it is being invented right here in Indiana. Technology is playing a big part in the ways people work and companies grow, and there has been a lot of interesting innovations lately.

To learn more about the kinds of tech that Hoosier firms have been making, we turned to a recent report from the Indiana IoT Lab. The lab is a nonprofit based in Fishers, IN that serves as a hub for emerging IoT innovation and collaboration.

The term IoT stands for “Internet of Things,” and refers to just about any type of internet connected device. Among Indiana businesses, this can mean a whole spectrum of different things. It could be something as small as a vacuum cleaning robot or something as sophisticated as a production line equipped with sensors that provide real-time operational feedback to controllers.

In the lab’s recent 2021 State of IoT report, quite an array of IoT developments were described. We gathered some of the highlights to show the variety of ways that IoT has been opening new doors for businesses.


More Eyes on Workplace Safety

A company called WPR Services from Fishers, IN is giving workplace safety a whole new perspective. They’re using sensors, video, audio, and other data points to help factories build safer “predictive” work environments.

WPR’s platform is called PoW and it can serve several different functions. Using augmented reality, it can warn workers about dangers around them at the jobsite. For example, if a person is about to approach a working vehicle or an unsafe area, the system can provide visual and audio notifications of the hazard. The platform can also be used to inspect production quality and identify ways to increase efficiencies.


Point A to Point B, Smarter

A machine builder called Photon Automation from Greenfield, IN has been developing intelligent conveyor systems for use in the electric vehicle manufacturing industry. The system uses autonomous cars to carry parts and materials throughout a facility. The cars are equipped with sensors and transceivers that link them to other cars on the network.

As the cars are moving parts through production stages, they’re also providing a lot of performance feedback to controllers. This lets workers make optimizations where needed. And since the cars are aware of one another, the system enables production lines to quickly be restarted in the event of an unexpected shutdown.


Extra Helping Hands

Workers have been partnering up with new helpers in the form of collaborative robots, also called cobots. The job of a cobot is to perform a specific task, often something repetitive. These are machines designed to support and work alongside people, so in a weird kind of way they’re almost like an additional appendage for a worker. In fact, they’re often very much like having an additional robot arm nearby to help with tasks.

Cobots are being developed by a variety of producers throughout the tech industry, but one that has a notable presence in Indiana is the Midwest division of Universal Robots. The company is designing cobots with automation solutions intended to help manufacturers stay flexible when changes arise. For example, last year produced a lot of unplanned absences and other business changes for many employers. Cobots can help support workers as they adapt to dynamic situations.


Great Potential

There’s a lot of great potential in IoT for Indiana. Innovators and inventors are creating brand new ways for companies to make all kinds of improvements by making work safer, more efficient, and even by adding a few extra helping hands. Our gadgets and equipment are getting smarter than ever. But more than that, they’re making aspects of business more effective than ever, which will be very good for the Hoosier economy.





Image Caption: 

A worker uses a cobot while working with a CNC machine. Image from Universal Robots.


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Category Features, IT & Tech