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Ericsson 5G trial demo's robots being operated remotely

Ericsson 5G trial demo's robots being operated remotely
1 Nov, 2021

A 5G trial conducted by telecom equipment provider Ericsson has shown how the technology can help facilitate remote education for students. Ericsson collaborated with Danish communications service provider TDC Net and robotics firm Shape Robotics, to power a 5G-enabled robot that can be used in workplaces, domestic and industrial applications.

The robot, called Fable, helped a student named Rasmus Dalsten in Herleve, Denmark to attend his regular classes remotely. “Rasmus had a previous robot that was controlled by teachers and classmates at school. If he wanted to change the view of what he was seeing, someone at school had to physically turn the robot in that direction,” the company said in a blog post.

Adding 5G connectivity to Fable allows Dalsten to take full control of the robot, which is about as big as a toy teddy bear. It allows Dalsten to steer the robot remotely, interact with others in the classroom, find new vantage points, etc. “Robots connected to the 5G-network can, unlike other robots, both send and receive large amounts of data without delays, while at the same time being able to be controlled remotely. And if we take a step back from the educational sector it becomes clear that the learnings from this project can be transferred to other areas such healthcare, social care and working remotely across industries,” said Toke Binzer, Vice President, Technology, Strategy and Economics at TDC NET.

“Rasmus logs onto the PC and the iPad, which is connected to the robot,” said Charlotte Dalsten, Rasmus’ mother. “This way he gets to be with his school class all day, during lunch breaks and in class. It has been important for me to see that Rasmus is happy when he logs on, that the others interact with him and that he is able to look around and make eye contact with them.”

“Although Fable also works with 4G, in practice, it is a different robot when using 5G. With 5G, students experience lightning-fast sound and image, so they can participate on the same terms as other students,” said Moises Pacheco, chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of Shape Robotics.