Industrial, medical, and commercial devices have undergone a dramatic transformation in the past 30 years, moving from purely mechanical or electromechanical systems to “mechatronic” ones. Compared to their consumer counterparts, however, these devices are still several evolutionary steps behind.
Today, the benefits of transitioning these industrial systems into highly connected, interactive machines are getting harder to ignore. A revolution in industrial machine architectures is now possible on the backs of inexpensive yet powerful microcontrollers that enable captive user interfaces and provide an onramp to the Internet of Things. But it’s up to OEMs to rethink their design strategies if they hope to capitalize on this new class of human-connected machines.