Home automation refers to technology installed in homes to remotely control and automate household systems like lighting, doors, heating & air conditioning, entertainment systems, security alarms, surveillance cameras and other connected appliances. The programmable thermostats, sprinkler systems, coffee makers, and entertainment systems that have been standard home features for decades can be considered home automation. But by today’s technological standards, the term home automation typically refers to a more advanced and complex set of components. To learn more about home automation, click here.
Automation of homes and home appliances is also thought to impact the environment, but the benefits of these features are also questioned. A study of energy consumption of automated homes in Finland showed that smart homes could reduce energy consumption by monitoring levels of consumption in different areas of the home and adjusting consumption to reduce energy leaks (such as automatically reducing consumption during the nighttime when activity is low). This study, along with others, indicated that the smart home’s ability to monitor and adjust consumption levels would reduce unnecessary energy usage. However, new research suggests that smart homes might not be as efficient as non-automated homes. A more recent study has indicated that, while monitoring and adjusting consumption levels does decrease unnecessary energy use, this process requires monitoring systems that also consume a significant amount of energy. This study suggested that the energy required to run these systems is so much so that it negates any benefits of the systems themselves, resulting in little to no ecological benefit.
At NASA, cost pressures led the agency to launch four RPA pilots in accounts payable and receivable, IT spending, and human resources—all managed by a shared services center. Shared services centers are often responsible for implementing RPA in many companies. At the space agency, all four projects worked well and are being rolled out across the organization. In the human resource application, for example, 86% of transactions were completed without human intervention. NASA is now implementing more RPA bots, some with higher levels of intelligence.
API testing is also being widely used by software testers due to the difficulty of creating and maintaining GUI-based automation testing. It involves directly testing APIs as part of integration testing, to determine if they meet expectations for functionality, reliability, performance, and security. Since APIs lack a GUI, API testing is performed at the message layer. API testing is considered critical when an API serves as the primary interface to application logic since GUI tests can be difficult to maintain with the short release cycles and frequent changes commonly used with agile software development and DevOps.
On the other hand, the macro diet is different from other diets because it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting. Everyone starts with a target macro ratio (for example, a macro ratio of 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 25% fat). An online calculator—or better yet, a nutritionist—will help you determine your macro ratio based on your body type, goals, activity level and medical history. As you aim for your specific macro ratio, you might adjust it based on what’s happening with your body. (See below for more info on that.)
But many economists argue that automation bears much more blame than globalization for the decline of jobs in the region’s manufacturing sector and the gutting of its middle class. Indeed, in his farewell speech to thousands in a packed convention hall in Chicago, President Obama warned: “The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle-class jobs obsolete.”
“The most important thing to consider is the problem you are trying to solve. Many test automation initiatives fail because teams are trying to jump in head first and automate every test possible instead of the most valuable tests according to the goals of development. They find themselves in a maintenance nightmare. Pick the most valuable test you were already performing manually and automate those first.”
Choosing the framework for your project comes down to deciding what guidelines will produce the desired results of the automated tests. Often, developers end up designing a custom framework. This requires experienced testers and dedication to planning for the changes that may arise while implementing the automated testing. In some cases, an existing automation tool already has the functionality necessary to achieve the desired result of automated tests.
Using a drag and drop interface, automated processes are designed to follow existing processes or improve on them. In most cases, the process is documented using a process modeling tool and then reviewed by all stakeholders for accuracy. Once the static design is approved, work begins by designing the actual process including forms, tasks, recipients, alerts/notifications, etc. This is done using workflow automation software that includes pre-built tasks (complete form, submit approval, hand-off to another person, etc.) that can be arranged sequentially or in parallel.
Another study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics showed similar findings. The researchers observed 123 postmenopausal, overweight and obese women over the span of a year. These women were put on two different diets. But regardless of which diet the women followed, the women who completed food journals lost about 4 percent more weight, on average, than those who didn’t track their food regularly.
One could also argue that RPA lays the groundwork for machine learning and more intelligent applications. It both gathers useful data and is being combined with AI capabilities. One of us (O’Dell) recently interviewed Eric Siegel, a predictive analytics expert and author of the book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die. Siegel pointed out an often overlooked benefit of starting by digitizing processes with simple RPA: the digital bread crumbs it now leaves behind. “This data wasn’t amassed in order to do machine learning. It’s just a side effect of doing business as usual. The transactional residue accumulates and, lo and behold, it turns out this stuff is really valuable because you can learn from it. You can derive these patterns to help improve the very transactional processes that have been accumulating the data in the first place.”
A final example of automation is for customer support. SiriusDecisions reports that about 64 percent of a salesperson’s time goes to administrative tasks instead of selling, and 73 percent of customer support professionals say that the most challenging part of their job is managing time and workload. Automation can minimize the burnout for these professionals by enabling them to concentrate on the higher-level functions that touch your customers.
Z-Wave and Zigbee are the two most popular wireless technologies, using RF to communicate between devices. These technologies are licensed out, meaning any number of companies can create their own products using Z-Wave and Zigbee technology. As a result (for the most part) all Z-Wave devices can work with each and all Zigbee devices can work together - regardless of brand. A Hub, or other Z-Wave interfaces will be required for smartphone control or voice control of Z-Wave products.
As the technology continues to advance, so does the ongoing possibilities for home automation. Many of the smart home hubs that are on the market today are designed to be compatible with other smart home components, allowing you to create a truly connected home whose security components all work together. In the future, you will be able to add other security and home automation features to expand your existing system, making your home exactly what you need it to be.
This might be one of the more interesting job categories that will thrive with automation. While less and less time will be focused on the mundane tasks, people will have more time to focus on growing themselves as a person. In fact, I believe the key to automation being a growth engine rather than a means to replace jobs, we are going to need a path for people to grow and adapt to human/machine partnerships. This is where the coach can really shine. A coach, just like on a soccer field, is a person who assists people see their potential in a certain area and capitalize on it. This category isn’t directly related to automation, but like continuing education, it is one that has a lot of potential because as automation becomes more pervasive, people will need help to adapt into our changing world.
Ethan H. Goodman, Digital Marketing Manager of DubSEO Limited, says, “All business growth is directly or indirectly tied to your ability to automate your business. The advantage of business automation is the ability to increase efficiency and productivity. People generally function well when they are put in positions that motivate them. The reality is that most routine activities aren’t motivating or exciting. This means that your employees will simply go through the motions without putting in 100 percent. The best part of business automation is that you spend less time on routine tasks by letting your software or outsourced agency handle that part of your business while you focus on growth and expansion.
RPA is an application of technology, governed by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes. Using RPA tools, a company can configure software, or a “robot,” to capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. RPA scenarios range from something as simple as generating an automatic response to an email to deploying thousands of bots, each programmed to automate jobs in an ERP system.
Monitoring your calories and macros will help you make sense of your diet, stay on track and keep you motivated. As you learn to track your nutrition, you become a more aware eater. In this way, you’ll be closer to achieving your fitness goals. What works best will depend on what your goal is. When it comes to weight loss, how much you eat is critical. To lose weight you must regularly feed your body less energy than it burns. Therefore keeping track of how many calories you consume is the best way to achieve your goal. If you want to build muscle, what you eat becomes more important. You must be providing your body enough protein to rebuild muscle tissue. In this case, tracking your macronutrients will best help you get in your dream shape.
With automation, processes can perform in ways that optimize the amount of human support needed. This shift—moving the burden of processes from humans to technology—has the potential to redesign the way work gets done within an enterprise. Simple automation of processes can eliminate errors, reduce biases and perform transactional work in a fraction of the time it takes humans. And with the application of artificial intelligence, these point robotic process fixes have now evolved into intelligent interactions and processes.