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Digital Factory

Autonomous transport robot transmits information via the 5G network

The next-generation mobile technology promises companies enhanced autonomous logistics processes. A business and research team is already studying concrete applications.

07 Nov. 2018
HMI-ID10-067kt_InSystemsAutomation
Autonomous transport robot transmits information via the 5G network (© InSystems Automation GmbH)

Exploring the limits and possibilities of the current 4G and upcoming 5G mobile communications technology in a smart factory : that is what interests cooperation partners Deutsche Telekom, Osram, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK) and Gestalt Robotics , a Berlin-based company. In joint tests performed under real conditions at the Osram plant in Schwabmünchen near Augsburg, they are using artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of an autonomously navigating transport robot of the proANT 346 model series by the manufacturer InSystems Automation . They use a dual-slice network that combines public and private LTE networks as well as a local edge cloud to transmit data. This type of data transmission allows low latency, high bandwidth and a robust connection. As the self-propelled robot is SLAM-capable , it can, after the automatic creation of an environment map, localize itself and steer around obstacles independently. The system's optional AI features include object recognition, 3D reconstruction, and fleet management.

According to industry experts, the rapid introduction of the new 5G mobile communications standard is indispensable, especially considering the bandwidth. They nevertheless disagree on the question of whether network fragmentation due to the allocation of numerous regional and local licenses to build private 5G industrial networks is more likely to benefit companies or endanger network quality .