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Qualcomm launches ‘world’s first’ 5G and AI-enabled robotics platform

Qualcomm Technologies has launched what it claims is the “world’s first 5G and artificial intelligence-enabled robotics platform”. (See video below.)

The company says its Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform is its “most advanced, integrated, comprehensive offering designed specifically for robotics”.

Building on the Qualcomm Robotics RB3 platform and its broad adoption in a wide array of robotics and drone products available today, the Qualcomm says its RB5 platform is comprised of an extensive set of hardware, software and development tools.

The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform is the “first of its kind” to bring together the company’s expertise in 5G and AI.

The company says the RB5 platform can empower developers and manufacturers to create the next generation of high-compute, low-power robots and drones for the consumer, enterprise, defense, industrial and professional service sectors.

Moreover, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit provides developers with opportunities for the customization and flexibility they need to make their visions a commercial reality.

To date, Qualcomm Technologies has engaged many leading companies that have endorsed the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, including 20+ early adopters in the process of evaluating the platform.

Additionally, 30+ ecosystem players are developing necessary hardware and software to enable various robotics applications.

These include:

  • 96Boards;
  • Acontis;
  • AirMap;
  • AirServe;
  • Airtonomy;
  • AlwaysAI;
  • Augmented Pixels;
  • Autocore;
  • Autoware Foundation;
  • Canonical;
  • DreamVu;
  • Dronecode;
  • GlobalEdge;
  • Innominds Software;
  • InOrbit;
  • Intel RealSense;
  • Lantronix;
  • Linaro;
  • LiteOn;
  • Kudan;
  • ModalAI;
  • Nod;
  • Open Robotics;
  • Panasonic;
  • PathPartners;
  • Pilot.AI;
  • Shoreline IoT;
  • SlamCore;
  • TDK;
  • Thundercomm; and
  • Tier IV.

The platform’s Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, customized for robotics applications, offers a powerful heterogeneous computing architecture coupled with the leading fifth-generation Qualcomm AI Engine delivering 15 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) of AI performance for running complex AI and deep learning workloads.

The processor also offers incredible machine learning inferencing at the edge under restricted power budgets using the new Qualcomm Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, a powerful image signal processor with support for seven concurrent cameras, and a dedicated computer vision engine for enhanced video analytics.

With support for 4G and 5G connectivity speeds via a companion module, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform helps pave the way for the proliferation of 5G in robotics and intelligent systems.

With the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform and the Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, the company enables various design offerings including off-the-shelf system-on-module solutions and flexible chip-on-board designs.

The solution is available in multiple options, including commercial and industrial-grade temperature ranges and an option for extended lifecycle until 2029.

Dev Singh, senior director, business development and head of autonomous robotics, drones and intelligent machines, Qualcomm Technologies, says: “Qualcomm Technologies is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator with a strong foundation in AI, mobile computing and 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.

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

To enable the next generation of robotics solutions and designs, Qualcomm Technologies has entered into a strategic collaboration with TDK to further enhance the capabilities of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform.

TDK has added their latest state of the art sensor technologies for enhanced robotics applications as part of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform and they have been instrumental in providing world class sensor solutions and motor control hardware.

The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit is comprehensive, customizable and easy-to-use. Developers have flexible software capabilities, with the platform offering support for Linux, Ubuntu and Robot Operating System 2.0, as well as pre-integrated drivers for various cameras, sensors and 5G connectivity.

It also provides support for OpenCL, OpenGLES and OpenCV. Additionally, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit includes support for the Intel RealSense Depth Camera D435i and Panasonic TOF Camera to provide leading depth-sensing capabilities.

Our strategic collaboration with TDK has been integral in enabling our Qualcomm RB5 Robotics Development Kit with TDK’s 6-axis, high performance ICM-42688-P IMU, accompanied by a ICP-10111 barometric pressure and a T5818 Digital (PDM) bottom port microphone.

TDK also enables the development kit with their ultrasonic Time-Of-Flight CH101 and CH201 solutions, in addition to their embedded motor control (HVC4223F) and high performance IMU with built-in redundancy (IIM-46220).

Additional technologies by TDK include Hall effect and temperature sensors and validated and verified software algorithms dedicated to robotic applications.

Also, Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit utilizes 96Boards Consumer Edition Specification which helps offer versatility for creating innovative proof-of-concepts and rapid prototyping.

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