On behalf of 5G Barcelona initiative, ACCIONA, Orange and Mobile World Capital Barcelona presented their pilot project Collaborative and autonomous robots at MWC19 Barcelona, in which 5G technology plays the leading role. This means that an employee can remotely control a robotised vehicle, solving the high attenuation rates and the risk of communications downtime that are present with other technologies such as Wi-Fi, LTEM or NBIoT. A totem has been installed on the Mobile World Capital stand at MWC19 Barcelona with a demo enabling the general public to remotely operate this robotised vehicle located in a logistics unit in the Zona Franca area in Barcelona.
The project also forms part of 5G Barcelona, an initiative sponsored by the Regional Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation, the i2CAT Foundation, the CTTC (Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya), Atos and the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya).
5G technology means that machinery can be operated remotely and in real time, eliminating the latency problems involved in delayed data transmission. It also enables the exchange of information between robotised vehicles (e.g. environmental parameters) so that they can perform collaborative tasks autonomously and detect and bypass obstacles.
The application of 5G technology in Industry 4.0 offers faster implementation times and an exponential increase in industrial output. It also reduces occupational risks and installation costs, and means that operations can be centralised, so that highly specialised professionals do not have to travel and can work on several projects remotely.
Items must be moved from one side of the premises to another in factories and warehouses. The implementation of autonomous robotic platforms is therefore becoming more and more common in the industrial sector. In some situations, however, robotic platforms are unable to act by themselves, and human involvement is required to run the equipment.
Robotic platforms are therefore, equipped with systems so that they can be controlled remotely through immersive technologies such as 5G. This means that employees can control the robot remotely and also obtain information on its surrounding environment.
The MIR200 robotised autonomous platform has been used in the pilot project by ACCIONA, Orange and 5G Barcelona, which includes a system of 2D and 360º cameras for remote control using 5G communications to ensure the 2D and 360º video feed can be broadcast at a low latency.
This pilot experience including the use of 5G technology has been possible thanks to the collaboration of technological partners Cisco and Samsung.