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Qualcomm is taking robotics into the 5G era

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)

Qualcomm is bringing robotics into the 5G era with the release of its newest connected platform.

Powered by the same Snapdragon 865 chipset found in many of the latest flagship smartphones, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 system comes with 5G and AI functionality enabled in what the company says is a world first.

Qualcomm says it hopes the launch can boost the development of more intelligent and powerful high computing robots and even drones for a range of sectors, including heavy industry and enterprises.

5G robotics

The Qualcomm RB5 platform comprises of an octa-core Kryo CPU, Adreno 650 GPU, 5th gen AI engine, and Spectra 480 ISP. For connectivity, the platform packs Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1, and 4G and 5G network, and also includes AI and ML security features such as fingerprint, iris, voice, and face authentication. 

The platform also supports Dolby Vision video capture, 8K video recording @ 30fps, and can capture 200MP photos and 64MP photos with zero shutter lag.  

The 5th gen AI engine delivers 15 Tera operations per seconds (TOPS), which Qualcomm says is useful for running complex AI, ML and deep learning workloads. 

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm says it has already signed up over 20 early adopters and 30+ ecosystem players to begin developing both hardware and software to enable various robotics applications. 

The RB5 comes with a customisable development kit that offers support for Linux, Ubuntu and Robot Operating System (ROS) 2.0, as well as pre-integrated drivers for various cameras, sensors and 5G connectivity. 

“By applying its deep-rooted mobile systems expertise to the robotics industry, Qualcomm Technologies is helping to enable the creation of more powerful, secure, and intelligent robots than ever before,” said Dev Singh, Qualcomm senior director, business development and head of autonomous robotics, drones and intelligent machines. 

“With the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, Qualcomm Technologies will help accelerate growth in a wide array of robotics segments such as autonomous mobile robots (AMR), delivery, inspection, inventory, industrial, collaborative robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), enabling Industry 4.0 robotics use cases, and laying the foundation for the UAV Traffic Management (UTM) space.”

The company says that it expects the first products based on the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform to be available later this year.