Qualcomm updates robotics platform to add 5G connectivity and edge compute power

Robotics is an important part of the company’s diversification plan to expand beyond smart phones.

The Qualcomm Robotics RB6 Platform and the Qualcomm RB5 AMR Reference Design will support evolving applications for OEMs and robot manufacturers looking to add ground robots to industrial use cases. Image: QualComm

Qualcomm Technologies announced today the latest version of its robotics platform and AMR reference design to provide advanced robots with 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence at the edge computing power.

The Qualcomm Robotics RB6 Platform and the Qualcomm RB5 AMR Reference Design will support evolving applications for OEMs and robot manufacturers looking to add ground robots to industrial use cases for government service applications, logistics, healthcare, retail, warehousing, agriculture, construction and utilities. The new technology could power delivery robots, automated manufacturing robots, urban air mobility vehicles and industrial drone infrastructure.

The Qualcomm RB5 AMR Reference design is the world’s first AMR reference design to offer tightly integrated enhanced AI and 5G capabilities, according to the company. Qualcomm anticipates that this design will accelerate development for commercial, enterprise and industrial robots for industries working on robotics solutions at the connected intelligent edge.

Dev Singh, GM of robotics, drones and intelligent machines at Qualcomm, said that robotics is a significant part of the company’s diversification strategy.

“We are seeing Qualcomm becoming the default choice for delivery robots, urban air mobility and wireless factories,” he said during a press conference about the news. “This is because we have one tech roadmap, and we are very well positioned to address these challenges.”

Singh said that these advances in connectivity and edge computing will help make autonomous robots smarter and safer. Features of the robotics platform include:

  • Heterogeneous computing
  • Up to 24 cameras
  • Distributed intelligence on-device, at the edge and in the cloud
  • Security processing unit for vault-like hardware-based security
  • Qualcomm AI Engine with 70 – 200 TOPS
  • High bandwidth, low latency and sub-6GHx and mmWave
  • Energy efficiency

Qualcomm announced this news as part of the company’s 5G Summit which runs from May 9 through May 11 in San Diego. There is a livestream of the keynote from the in-person event. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon will give the presentation about advancing 5G to power the connected intelligent edge. Other sessions will be available on demand at the event website afterward.

The Qualcomm Robotics RB6 platform includes hardware and software development tools and a fully-integrated AI Software Development Kit and the Qualcomm Intelligent Multimedia SDK. This SDK brings together multimedia, AI and ML, computer vision and networking building blocks to support end-to-end deployment of robotic applications.

Qualcomm lists among its corporate collaborators ADLINK, Akasha Imaging, Cyngn, ForwardX FutureMind, Hyundai Robotics, inVia Robotics, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Thundercom.

The Qualcomm RB5 AMR Reference Design is available for pre-sale now through ModalAI and the Qualcomm Robotics RB6 development kit is available for sale through Thundercomm.

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