How 5G will drive down the cost of robots

Peter Montgomergy of the GSMA explains how 5G will supercharge the cloud and make it so that companies don't have to build as much processing power into devices.

TechRepublic caught up with Peter Montgomery, GSMA's director of partnerships, at Mobile World Congress 2018 and Montgomery talked about how 5G could dramatically drop the cost of some devices by moving a lot more processing to the cloud. That will reduce the amount of compute power needed to put in some devices, such as robots.

You can watch the interview above or read the transcript below.

Montgomergy said, "So where things like 5G really come into the fore is obviously there's the low latency side of things. There's the high capacity on the network that allows you to offload a lot of the computing or the processing part that might be done on the device normally. You can now de-centralize that or centralize it and take it right up into the cloud.

"So for example, with the robotics example like this, traditionally you might have a lot of computers on the ground doing all the processing in each and individual robot. Whereas with the 5G network, you've got the capacity, you've got the speeds to put all that processing into the network and better manage those devices. But at the same time keep the cost of those devices right down to a minimum. So you're not building processing into every single device."

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"Across a lot of factories where you have multiple robots, those robots need to learn on the ground. So where you're bringing in AI as well, you've got the combination of artificial intelligence sitting on the cloud making split second decisions," said Montgomery.

"Where robots are maybe on a shop floor, they might be building cars or constructing other electronics devices. And perhaps an individual walks onto to the factory floor, they need to know instantly. They need to change their movements [and] their patterns from a health and safety perspective. And [those decisions] can all be made in a short second and by a very fast link up to the cloud. And they have artificial intelligence that's built into the cloud system that manages those robots."

Also see

Robots at MWC 2018

Robots of all shapes and sizes could be seen throughout Mobile World Congress 2018.

Image: Jason Hiner/TechRepublic

About Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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