Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Qualcomm’s new robotics development platform is 5G-enabled

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Qualcomm this morning just announced the latest version of its robotics development platform. The chipmaking giant is skipping a number, following up last year’s RB3 platform with the Robotics RB5 — which seems to signify, among other things the key embrace of 5G connectivity this time out.

The next-generation wireless technology has been seen as a key enabler of IoT products and robotics alike, bringing a new level of high speed wireless across a broad spectrum of connected devices. No wonder, then, that Qualcomm is pushing hard, here. The system also supports 4G, just in case.

Qualcomm is one of a number of operators looking to get in on the ground level of third-party robotics development. Perhaps most notable among the company’s competition is NVIDIA’s ISAAC Platform. But Qualcomm certainly has a lot going on it from the standpoint of components, with a depth of knowledge in connectivity, processing power and AI. It also has a number of high-profile partners already developing for the new platform, including  Intel, Panasonic, AirMap, SLAMCORE and ROS gatekeepers, Open Robotics.

The system will support a number of third-party components, including Intel’s RealSense depth camera and Pansonic’s TOF (time of flight) camera. There are currently more than 20 early adopters to the new platform, with the first commercial products expected to be released before end of year.

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