Kollmorgen, Ericsson Eye 5G for Mobile Robots in Intralogistics
February 10, 2022
is currently performing 5G tests with Ericsson to explore future Mobile
Robot capabilities. 5G can enable new levels of AI and Machine Learning,
simplify requirements for infrastructure, and increase network stability
– which could dramatically increase performance and cost efficiency for
Kollmorgen’s partners and end-users.
“We want to continue to push the boundaries of Mobile Robot applications
with our NDC Solutions platform. 5G holds the key to unlock more
advanced routing of intralogistics, generate better insights, improve
predictive maintenance, and speed-up commissioning. It is also likely
going to be the future standard of industrial communication
infrastructure” said Peter Bladh, Director R&D, Kollmorgen.
5G has several advantages compared to Wi-Fi. The higher bandwidth allows
for extracting more data, and the low latency enables moving heavy
computations to the cloud. That means that the computational performance
would not be limited by the onboard unit of the Mobile Robot, but
instead the cloud – which can enable the next level of Computer Vision
and Deep Learning. It can also result in better scalability and cost
savings, as the advanced computations would not require expensive local
servers. 5G infrastructure is also potentially far easier to set up
compared to Wi-Fi, and it could have more robust and reliable coverage.
In addition, 5G can allow localization in dynamic environments without
requiring artificial landmarks.
Kollmorgen’s tests with Ericsson were carried out on both a private 5G
network as well as a public 4G network by using a Autonomous Mobile
Robot, controlled by the Kollmorgen NDC S platform. The Wi-Fi
communication link in the Kollmorgen CVC700 onboard vehicle control unit
was replaced with a 5G communication link. Test results were promising –
The NDC Solutions hardware and software proved to run as stable on 5G as
on Wi-Fi. Furthermore, a seamless 5G antenna handover was observed. This
is an important observation, as stable roaming between access points is
a recurring challenge while configuring Wi-Fi networks for fast-moving
mobile robot applications.
tests are just the beginning of our 5G journey. Our initial aim was to
prove that our NDC Solution platform is agnostic to the type of
communication link used, and explore the performance differences between
5G and Wi-Fi. Having done so, we are confident to say that NDC Solutions
is 5G ready. This is a very interesting milestone for us, and we are
excited to explore and discover more capabilities that can dramatically
benefit our partners and end-users" said Peter Bladh, Director R&D,
“Autonomous material handling requires both powerful and secure
connectivity, and a robust ecosystem of application providers. Ericsson
is proud to partner with Kollmorgen to enable Automatic Guided Vehicles
with industry grade reliable connectivity from Ericsson Private 5G,
ensuring smooth and safe operations” said Thomas Noren, Head of
Dedicated Networks at Ericsson.