For some, 5G may seem a technology whose main applications are to high-end technologies and users. It’s timely therefore that Nokia has announced plans to set up a robotics lab at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore for research on socially relevant use cases based on 5G and emerging technologies.
IIISc is the country’s leading institute and university for research and higher education in science and engineering. The Nokia Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Networked Robotics, as the new lab will be called, will promote inter-disciplinary research involving robotics, advanced communication technologies and artificial intelligence.
The aim will be to develop socially relevant use cases across areas like emergency management, agriculture and industrial automation. The centre will promote engagement and cooperation between academia, start-ups and industry ecosystem partners in the research and development of use cases.
Drone-based use cases seem to be regarded as particularly promising. Nokia cites using drones for remote management of agricultural orchards to promote water conservation and avoid human contact with pesticide. Drones using a 5G-enabled wide-area network could also have a role in anticipating crop fires or in gathering situational information, helping first responders to save lives by quickly accessing affected areas during disaster relief.
This collaboration will help IISc in capacity building and human resources development in the cutting-edge technologies of robotics, 5G and autonomous systems. The research will also contribute to standards development and inform research.
Nokia says that the new CoE will facilitate close interaction with all the stakeholders of the ecosystem for the exchange of ideas and symbiotic development of end-to-end use cases. It will also host symposia for academia and industry and organize hackathons for startups.