In the future, wireless production robots and employees will work hand in hand. Real-time interaction is essential for smooth collaboration. The key to this is 5G technology with its low latency, i.e. end-to-end delays of less than ten milliseconds, and its high level of network stability. As a result, interaction between humans and machines is made even safer thanks to 5G.
The playful demonstration at Ericsson’s Hannover Messe booth is an example for the interaction in a factory. The robot has sensors connected to the 5G network. As soon as a visitor stretches his hand towards the robot, this is detected by those sensors. The robot then hands the guest a packet of mint sweets. “In the future, 5G will be essential to allow flexible, wireless robots to interact reliably and safely with people in production environments,” explains Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen, Head of the ICT Development Center Eurolab Aachen. “Because a robot connected via 5G can react to humans in real time only with extremely low latencies and very high availability.”
“The human-robot interaction at the Hannover Messe is just the beginning. With the introduction of 5G in car production, we are gaining completely new possibilities for connecting machines via radio,” says Dr. Henning Löser, Head of the Audi Production Lab, in which Audi has been testing a local 5G network for vehicle production together with Ericsson since August 2018. “We are absolutely convinced of the potential of the new technology. That’s why we want to set up an in-house 5G network that will facilitate agile and flexible production in the future.”
Sebastian Heidepriem, Head of Wireless Technologies at SICK AG, explains: “In connection with wireless industrial communication, 5G technology has key advantages for the use of our sensor solutions in various applications. This type of communication allows fundamental changes in software architecture for more flexible automation.
That’s why we are evaluating 5G technology for industrial use. For example, we see an advantage in the fact that industrial vehicles can use 5G not only inside production halls, but also outside, and worldwide on public roads. The example of a robotics application at the Hanover Fair demonstrates how humans and robots will be able to collaborate better in the future thanks to reliable communication with low latency.”