GTI jointly issued the “5G & Cloud Robotics White Paper” with China Mobile, SoftBank, Huawei Wireless X Labs, CloudMinds, and Skymind. The white paper discusses the concepts, technologies, market trends, value chain, and business models of cloud robotics, while also performing a detailed analysis of how 5G will unlock latent potential for commercial success.
Cloud robotics will become increasingly popular within the next few years as cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) progresses and robotics grow increasingly competent. According to the white paper, the global shipment of cloud robotics will reach 50 million between 2016 and 2020. In 2025, domestic cloud robotics will boast a penetration rate of 12%, substantially altering people’s way of life. The benefits of cloud robotics in comparison to stand-alone ones will manifest themselves in a vast number of areas ranging from logistics, monitoring, entertainment, and education, to the tasks involved in housekeeping.
While traditional robotics accept the commands of local controllers, cloud robotics are linked via networks to cloud-based control centers. The combination of AI, big data, and ultra-high-performance computing capability reduces cost and the energy consumption requirements of cloud robotics. According to the white paper, the robot platform, AI, and mobile networks are three key enabling technologies for cloud robotics.
Cloud robotics pose unique requirements for networks. The cloudification of real-time tasks relies upon ultra-reliable and ultra-low-latency connections. Sensor data collection demands stable uplink bandwidth. In addition, the network architecture must be highly flexible to accommodate diversified services. 5G, with its large bandwidth and low latency, is an ideal choice for cloud robotics’ data transmission. Moreover, 5G network slicing and mobile edge computing (MEC) can provide robotic applications with customizable end-to-end support. Therefore, 5G is set to assume the role of a crucial element aimed at the success of cloud robotics.
GTI 2.0 was officially launched in February 2016 to further scale TD-LTE, promote 5G’s growth, and encourage converged development. The GTI cloud robotics working group aims to cultivate a cross-industry ecosystem to remove any barriers while promoting the converged development of communication and robotics. With the help of GTI, communication and robotic experts are now working side by side to discuss the potential architecture, develop 5G-oriented robotic prototypes, and perform tests on operators’ networks. The working group is also keenly engaged in identifying and responding to the connection demands of cloud robotics. GTI aspires to ensure that 5G networks, with their superb performance, great reliability, and high flexibility, can provide seamless connections for future cloud robotics as well as many other diverse daily applications.
Huawei actively participates in GTI cloud robotics working group projects, while eagerly developing and testing various 5G-oriented application prototypes. The release of the GTI cloud robotics white paper marks the successful cooperation among communication, robotics, and AI industries. Huawei looks forward to extending the level of communication and cooperation with the current achievements forming a solid foundation to help propel the future development of cloud robotics.