An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: General Motors has connected about a quarter of its 30,000 factory robots to the internet, and the largest U.S. automaker already is reaping the benefits of less down time. In the last two years, GM has avoided 100 potential failures of vehicle-assembling robots by analyzing data they sent to external servers in the cloud, Mark Franks, director of global automation, said at a conference in Chicago on Monday. Connectivity is preventing assembly line interruptions and robot replacements that can take as long as eight hours. Internet monitoring allows GM to order parts when it detects they’re wearing out instead of having to store them at the factory. That reduces inventory and saves money, Franks said. Hooking robots to the internet for preventive maintenance is just the start of a spurt of new robotics technology, Franks said. GM is using robots that can work safely alongside humans in the factory that produces the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, he said.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.