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Australian 5G Innovation Initiative, Nokia & UTS Techlab, 5G Connected Cobot

Australian 5G Innovation Initiative, Nokia & UTS Techlab, 5G Connected Cobot

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In 2021, Nokia and Techlab were the recipients of a federal government 'Australian 5G Innovation Initiative' grant.

When the results of the collaboration were ready to be showcased, Nokia approached us to produce this case study video for them.

Nokia used the grant to build a private 5G network at Techlab purely for industrial research. The two organisations then decided to marry 5G with robotics which resulted in a world first private wireless and 5G connected cobot eg. a robot designed to work directly in interactions with humans or in a shared space with humans.

The cobots use 5G connectivity to offload all sensor data from the cobot to a cloud. The data comes from the cobot to the cloud and then back to the cobot so it can react quickly to the humans around it. Offloading the processor from the cobot to the 5G network, means not investing in a costly GPU, saving power on the cobot, and sharing the data across thousands of cobots.

As the UTS researchers explain, you can’t afford to have huge delays where the human does something and then the cobot responds.

To create this case study, we interviewed key representatives from each organisaton, filmed teams in meetings and discussions, showed UTS researchers and Nokia personnel at work, and demonstrated the cobot in action. We also used graphics to simulate the data processing between the 5G network and the cobot.

One of the applications for this technology innovation was a microbrewery. Utilising digital automation, the researchers were able to perfect the art of brewing alongside the cobot with a cloud-based digital copy of an actual brewery to optimize the brewing process.

Up until now, 5G hasn’t fully flexed its muscles. Smartphones on the 5G network haven’t done much more than 4G smartphones but the cobot project results can be applied to many different industries and initiatives eg drones, driverless cars, and augmented reality headsets for blind people to name just a few.

Creating a private 5G network and offloading the data processor to the cloud, allows researchers to dream up exciting new use cases. The overall vision for the future is one where humans and robots can work side by side.

Pixel3 Video Productions has an ongoing working relationship with Nokia and we're excited to see what they come up with next.