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The general idea behind the IoT is that many hi-tech and simple electronic devices would become interconnected with M2M (Machine- to-Machine) protocols, and therefore remotely controlled and relaying data to each other, without any manual input, or even equipped with ambient intelligence.
This idea is currently used in smart houses, and many seek wider applications. Its industrial counterpart can be viewed more from a resource and manufacturing perspective. We can currently see such trends in mining, with automated trains, robotic hauling trucks, excavators, drills, and mineral processing plants, including remote fault, and malfunction control, calibration, and configuration for increased efficiency.
Despite the current and constant need for “on-site” human workers and operators, the trend is moving towards eliminating the human factor to the required minimum, thus a single central operation control room could remotely operate and supervise several operation sites. Human operators could also be issued with remote ATLAS-like humanoid substitutes if necessary.