Nokia promises “groundbreaking” 5G robotics from new India-based R&D facility
Nokia has announced a collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), for research and higher education in science and engineering, to establish a new ‘centre of excellence’ for networked robotics, with a major focus on 5G-connected drones in smart agriculture and emergency services.
The centre will promote research into communication technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) for robotics. Nokia said the new facility, presented as a Centre of Excellence for Networked Robotics, will encourage cooperation between academia, startups, and enterprises to develop industrial robotics use cases.
The initiative ties in with the Indian government’s ‘Startup India’ campaign, which seeks to reduce the regulatory burden on startups in the country, and stimulate innovation and economic growth.
The laboratory will be available to the IISc community and partners to research and design next-generation networks and AI applications that take aim at “pertinent social problems”. Nokia will leverage its Nokia Bell Labs business, which has expertise in robot orchestration, robot network control, and human-robot interaction. IISc will engage its faculties and researchers, and provide expertise in algorithms, drones, and robotic systems.
Nokia said key research use cases include: drones for remote management of agricultural orchards to promote water conservation and avoid human contact with pesticide; 5G-enabled drones for gathering situational information and helping first responders to save lives; and drones for applications such as anticipating crop fires. The facility will also consider usage of connected robots in industrial automation.
The research will contribute to standards development and inform research. It will also host symposia for academia and industry, and organize hackathons for startups.
Professor G. Rangarajan, director at the IISc, commented: “The ultimate relevance of technology is to find solutions to improve the quality of our lives. Collaboration with… Nokia will go a long way in helping our students to gain knowledge and make contributions to the development of innovative and societally relevant 5G use cases. This is a critical initiative and it will help us move closer to finding technology-powered solutions to enrich our lives.”
Sanjay Malik, senior vice president and head of India market at Nokia, said: “Emerging technologies such as 5G have potential to enable an entirely new array of use cases with a profound societal impact. With Nokia’s rich innovation heritage, we aim to engage with the bright and young minds at IISc to nurture and advance the latest technologies that can benefit communities. We are confident that it will lead to the development of groundbreaking use cases.”