Facebook’s Role in Industrial Automation

What is Facebook’s role in Industrial Automation? Well, right now it doesn’t really have one, but the world’s largest social network might be looking to change that. Facebook has advertising for an electrical engineer who has “10+ years designing electrical systems for industrial automation, vehicles, or robotics”.

Facebook isn’t the first tech company to try and branch out from digital roots. Google, aka the world’s largest search engine, has been snatching up robotics companies for years now. They even have a somewhat secret facility, called Google X, dedicated to advancements and research in robotics and automation. People have been in awe of Google’s acquisitions, and some have even made some bold claims as to the company’s motives, but with Facebook now joining in the fun, it may just be a matter of time before more big name companies follow suit.

Those in the manufacturing industry might scoff at all of this new attention to automation. After all, manufacturing has been putting automation to work for hundreds of years. Industrial automation is nothing new, and it’s been important for centuries, but the new focus on automation gives credence to the growing belief that we’re on the cusp of a truly new industrial revolution.

The fact that huge corporations like Google and Facebook, which seemingly have nothing to do with automation, are investing in the technology is a sign that robotics, motion control, and automation will not be left by the side of the road by the Internet of Things. Even the United States government is jumping on the automation train, with large investments in the advancement of automation and robotics.

Facebook could end up playing a pretty big role in the advancement of industrial automation. The company’s contribution might not be dependent on what they produce, though. Google surprised everyone by investing in robotics, but Facebook could set the precedent. Facebook’s foray into automation could encourage other new players to get involved as well.