New 5G-controlled robot can reach elevated areas, say collaborators
US-based mobile operator T-Mobile and American robotics company Sarcos Robotics have announced they are collaborating to create a 5G integrated teleoperation robot. If successful it could boost performance and cut response time for remote operations using features within 5G networks, reports Verdict.
The robot could eventually help improve safety on remote base stations, masts and telco towers, if the remote operations features were applied.
The challenge for T-Mobile (part of Deutsche Telekom) is that the Sarcos Guardian XT, described on the web site as a ‘highly dextrous robot’, makes huge demands of the supporting networking in order to co-ordinate its complex movements.
Could 5G support dexterity?
The Guardian XT is remotely controlled on a telescopic boom, which is only feasible with a reliable 5G low-latency. To support this T-Mobile and Sarcos configured the 5G architecture from the ground-up, designing it for a variety of uses in industrial settings.
The Guardian XT robotic system is the upper body of the Guardian XO full-body robot which is a battery-powered industrial exoskeleton. Being universally compatible it can be mounted on a variety of mobile devices, from cherry pickers (that select items) or basket trucks. They are designed for hard-to-access sites or elevated areas.
T-Mobile’s integration of the 5G network will allow the operator on the field to control the Guardian XT robots. The network also allows the robot be supervised by the managers on-site or remotely. Since the network has demonstrably given the operator more options and flexibility, while improving the levels of safety, the operator is looking to expand its IoT offering into new markets.
Out on a telescopic limb
The integration of 5G will enable the remote viewing management system for a various application that uses telescopic booms. It could save human operators from having to work on a boom platform to carry out operational or maintenance work in applications such as power line maintenance, which can be a dangerous occupation. In the robot vendor’s words it ‘created uncertainty for safety-related issues that needed a solution to be fixed without affecting productivity’.
The remote operation, created by using robotics on the telescopic boom platform, not only reduces the safety-related risk but also achieves ‘equal productivity as that of humans – if not more’
The target verticals for the Sarcos Guardian XT are in aerospace, the automotive sector, defence, construction, manufacturing, maritime and energy businesses.