SoftBank and Huawei Wireless X Labs recently signed a MoU to implement 5G-based smart service robots by 2018.
SoftBank plans to offer Cube and Kibako (automated cube robots), while Huawei will provide 5G wireless networks.
With an aging global population, there will be 1.3 billion people aged over 60 by 2030, accounting for 16% of the world's total population. This represents an increasing number of the population that will require special care and nursing. Service robots will play an important role to resolve this challenging social issue.
However, current service robots will require a higher level of intelligence, said Huawei. Such robot must fully comprehend its immediate surroundings to complete specific tasks, such as goods delivery in an open environment, interactions with natural languages or gestures, security inspection and checks, and even more complex household activities.
The cooperation between SoftBank and Huawei aims to enhance the intelligence of service robots. A service robot is connected to cloud AI. Cloud AI implements recognition and analysis of the local environment and returns a result back to the robot.
5G can then offer tens of Mbps uplink bandwidth and ubiquitous indoor/outdoor coverage required by machine vision and radar data. In conclusion, a huge amount of AI computing can be completed over the cloud. AI helps enhance service robots with reduced computing load, power consumption, sizes, and costs. 5G can also enable data sharing among multiple robots to facilitate machine learning and evolution of AI.