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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tackling the Challenge of IoT Software Updates

It has turned into a familiar ritual of modern life: a notification on your own smartphone implies that app updates have become available. What would you do? You tap to the down load and then — voila, new features, bug fixes, and security improvements are installed. But there’s a problem tackling the challenges of IoT pc software updates.

App stores have made software updates simple.

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Software updates occur for roughly 3 billion smartphone owners worldwide. Then we have to count the 41.6 billion machines, sensors, cameras, along with other connected devices that IDC forecasts is likely to make up the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2025?

Until recently, the importance of quickly and efficiently delivering software and firmware updates to IoT devices has been under-recognized. But as these devices upsurge in cars, factories, farms, and any number of other surroundings.  Keeping all of the pc software up to date to either add functionality or ensure security is a growing and crucial priority

The task of software updates comes with two significant challenges.

  • First, if an enterprise has hundreds or thousands of IoT devices deployed in the field, it really is impractical, or even impossible, to execute updates by hand.
  • Second, when executed remotely, pushing out pc software updates that will range from a couple of to one hundred megabytes or even more can constrain bandwidth and drive up costs.
  • Problems can happen, especially when cellular uplinks perform updates.

Organizations must find answers to the challenges because it can be easier and less expensive to boost rather than replace IoT devices.

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For example, when new artificial intelligence (AI) features become available, through updates — it will be easier to put in that come up with a brand new system. And because a vulnerability in just one device can threaten the entire network — it is vital to constantly provide every device with the latest security protections.

Fortunately, technology has emerged to get rid of manual updating while also addressing the bandwidth issue.

Technology is being successfully applied in the field, as experienced by the Japanese robotics company Cyberdyne. The company has attracted world wide attention because of its HAL — a wearable, cyborg-type robot that helps people with back injuries along with other disabilities regain movement.


Cyberdyne also makes an advanced cleaning robot, called CL02, that’s deployed at various commercial locations, including Tokyo’s two major airports and stores across Japan. Leveraging AI features and able to work without guide wires or magnetic tapes, the robots can record building layouts and map out cleaning routes dynamically and detect obstacles and ensure safety utilizing integral 3D cameras.

To keep the robots’ pc software up to date effectively and cost-effectively has been a major concern for Cyberdyne.

The company assessed three options: sending service engineers all around Japan to client facilities; recalling the robots to the company headquarters in Tsukaba, Japan; or remotely update to every individual robot.

The first option could have been labor-intensive, slow, and costly. The second was impractical since it would simply take robots – each of which is anticipated to have a five-year service life – out of service for an undetermined period. The third would raise bandwidth and scalability concerns.

Cyberdyne made a decision to use technology that seamlessly rolls out software updates to its Linux-based robots in the field.

The rollout was accomplished without engineer intervention and zero downtime, allowing the company to keep expanding its robot fleet while controlling operational costs.

With this technology, containerized software programs that bundle everything the robots need — applications together with each of their dependencies — are automatically downloaded and installed in the robots.

A major innovation, a form of data compression takes place where only code that has changed is transmitted to the robots, instead of the entire software package. For Cyberdyne, that will mean the difference between 500 MB or just 20 MB per robot – an enormous savings of time and bandwidth.

Bug fixes and new features are now delivered with unprecedented speed.

Cyberdyne’s clients don’t need certainly to worry about robot software maintenance interrupting their cleaning schedules. Cyberdyne is even in a position to publish updates through an app store that permits its clients to update their robots according to their particular timetable and cleaning schedule.

Cyberdyne’s experience demonstrates a mechanism for pc software updates in the easiest, fastest, & most cost-effective way possible is really a critical component of a fruitful and longterm IoT strategy.

As the number of IoT devices continues to boom, it’s an interest the industry will increasingly be discussing as it looks to solve the problem of IoT pc software updates.


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