4. Reliable robots and autonomous guided vehicles
Eliminating manual processes and creating safer human-machine interactions in shared spaces are the two most critical benefits of autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), automated mobile robots (AMRs), and collaborative robots (cobots). Robots and AGVs in factories mean fewer people are needed for basic operations, allowing workers to focus on more complex responsibilities and advance to more highly skilled jobs.
5G’s reliable high-speed wireless connectivity will make robots and autonomous vehicles more practical and useful than ever. Moving from Wi-Fi to 5G wireless connections can allow AGVs and robots to operate reliably throughout a facility. This provides manufacturers with better access to data derived from those connected assets—and the confidence of knowing reliable building-wide connectivity supports their factory operations.
According to the Manufacturers Institute, companies are expecting 5G will deliver significant value to:
- Enable new applications (82%)
- Increase automation (80%)
- Enable utilization of AR/VR applications (80%)
- Enable utilization of mobile robots and AGVs (79%)
- Redesign factory spaces and machines (79%)
- Create line of sight into operations remotely (77%)
- Decentralize decision making (76%)
With 5G-enhanced speeds and throughput, AGVs and robots can utilize more advanced technologies like machine learning and analytics to navigate safely. They can recharge themselves to optimize battery life and maintenance, record assets they interact with, and more. 5G-fueled AGVs can also travel beyond warehouses, factories, and across campuses to other buildings and outside locations.
5. Safer remote monitoring with HD video
5G networks that enable higher-definition video streams from fixed cameras and drones will improve remote monitoring with high-definition (HD) video in factories and warehouses. When teamed with computer vision, an artificial intelligence (AI) analytics application that allows computers to interpret and understand images, the same cameras can do even more. By monitoring the assembly process, identifying product defects, keeping tabs on equipment, and ensuring environments are secure and efficient, they help keep workers safe and improve productivity.
While Smart HD video analytics today works with 4G devices, faster 5G will support the increasing density of cameras, providing the uplink bandwidth and quality of service required by 4K and 8K video. 5G will also provide real-time insights from analytics that use the most advanced AI, machine learning, and cloud technologies.