Application of 5G technology to mobile robotics

Pilotos 5G is a project to test the new 5th generation of mobile communication technology. 5G technology brings brand new features to current communication such as:

● Ultra Low latency communication.

● Ultrahigh bandwidth.

● Large quantity of devices connected.

● Private enterprise networking.

This project aims to test this new technology inside each Autonomous Community in Spain. Inside these big projects there are defined different use cases to test these new capabilities to industrial or commercial environments. Some of the use cases are robotics in industrial environments using this new technology. 

Benefits of the 5G to robotics

Robotics, especially mobile robotics, requires to process a great amount of data from the environment within a limited compute time. Also mobile robotics uses complex algorithms that require a high processing capabilities. So the robots should mount a high end equipment in order to work properly. Even though these algorithms should be trimmed in it’s accuracy or reliability in order to meet the data delivery time of the critical tasks of the robots. 

On the other hand, traditional Wireless communication (WIFI) in mobile robot fleets brings a lot of problems in industrial installations such a blind spots, low bandwidth, firewall and enterprise integration interconnexion, electromagnetic interference or low distance range. 

Traditional mobile communication such as GSM 3G or 4G could be used on robotics problems and solves some of wireless communication infrastructure problems but the bandwidth and latency of these systems makes them unable to be used except for low priority and low traffic communication to managers or external resources.

In order to solve the computation saturation problem of the robots, one solution is to use cloud or edge high capacity computing to outsource the most demanding tasks. But the latency and bandwidth requirements do not allow to use them in real robotics environments. 

5G communication applied to robotics brings a new scope of possibilities. Now the outsourcing of data processing is possible, so the high load task of the robots can be performed outside it and bring 2 benefits:

● Cheaper onboard computers.

● Higher battery autonomy.



Robotnik is leader in mobile robotics. Robotnik will develop the required technology to connect the robotic fleet to the 5G technology.  

One use case is a robotic logistic use case for indoor and outdoor using a RB-VOGUI. Robotnik will develop a cutting edge navigation system relying on 5G technology that will allow it to cover either great areas or high interference environments. 

The other case is remote inspection of rail facilities. The robot, a SUMMIT-XL, will be able to use 5G communication to great amounts of data in real time and outsource some of the processes allowing it to perform high specialty tasks in environments that were impossible before.

Project Partners