5G is here. This means more speed and better access to newer technologies.
At the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona last month, China Mobile and Nokia Networks demonstrated 5G-enabled synchronized collaboration of robots. 5G technology will be more sophisticated and address important aspects of industry automation and logistics productivity.
Huang Yuhong, vice president, China Mobile Research Institute, said: “5G, with the key features of ultra high capacity, ultra low latency, high reliability and low power consumption, will make the impossible use cases of today the realities of tomorrow. Autonomous manufacturing with massive use of robots is one such use case. 5G will provide the network infrastructure for the China Manufacturing 2025 initiative.”
Mike Wang, president of Greater China of Nokia Networks, General Manager of Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell and head of the Joint Management Team, Nokia Networks China and ASB said: “As one of the first 5G strategic partners with China Mobile, we work together on the research, standardization and industrialization of key 5G features. The robots collaboration demonstration is the first time both parties are jointly showing a 5G use case. In the future, we will explore more possibilities that 5G will bring to different industries and our lives, to jointly develop the programmable world.”
The joint demonstration showed potential 5G applications in machine-to-machine communications in the industrial automation era. The ultra-low latency system is used as a communication platform connecting the robots to a central server, resulting in fast and synchronized collaboration to balance a ball on a moving platform. Once the user moves a ball in any direction, the robots coordinate and react to keep to ball at its pre-defined location.
Closed-loop control applications in industry automation will require virtual zero latency and high reliability to prevent equipment failure, production interruption, or even loss of life. 5G will provide this, meaning manufacturing industries will be better equipped to achieve their productivity targets through a unified, computing infrastructure instead of today’s fragmented industrial standards.