BOSTON — The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) today announced the winners of the 5G Robotics Challenge, sponsored by Verizon and Ericsson. This first-of-its-kind challenge asks teams to develop 5G-powered robotics technologies that will transform modern industry. The winners include teams from Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts, Lowell, as well as five start-ups:
- 6 River Systems Inc., a provider of warehouse management and automation systems in Waltham, Mass. Its mobile robots currently use Wi-Fi, which can be unreliable.
- Ava Robotics Inc., a telepresence and video collaboration company in Cambridge, Mass.
- GreenSight Agronomics, which uses patented sensors and analytics to perform automated surveys via aerial drones, in Boston
- RealBotics Inc., whose Internet of Things platform integrates with devices and software to allow people to share their innovations, in Pittsburgh
- Southie Autonomy. creator of a “no-code” robot interface for instructing robots, in Boston
The challenge launched in November, and 5G wireless networks promise to enable processing to shift from the edge to the cloud or vice versa as needed. This will enable robots and other devices to take full advantage of the Internet of Things for greater autonomy and insights from data gathered by mobile sensors and real-time analysis.
Winners of the 5G Challenge will each receive $30,000 to create insights, develop new use cases, and conceive innovative products that will advance the robotics industry by leveraging the unique speed, bandwidth and latency benefits of Verizon’s 5G technology and Mobile Edge Compute.
The teams will create solutions in three key areas: industrial automation, collaborative robotics (cobots), and warehouse automation. They will also have access to dedicated 5G networks at Verizon’s 5G Cambridge Lab and 5G Waltham Lab, as well as 5G training and mentorship from Verizon and Ericsson.
Massachusetts as 5G, robotics hub
“Massachusetts is the nation’s innovation leader,” said MassTLC CEO Tom Hopcroft. “As the organization that first brought together the robotics community in Massachusetts, MassTLC is thrilled to once again be pushing the bounds of innovation through the 5G Challenge. With sponsorship, technology and technical assistance from Verizon and Ericsson, these local universities and start-ups will continue to innovate and shape our future.”
“5G will completely transform the robotics and manufacturing industries using increased connectivity, cloud computing, and big data,” said Thierry Sender, director of IoT Product Management at Verizon. “Thanks to 5G, robots are able to be completely wireless to access programs and act upon data from the cloud, with super low latency. The challenge winners will be part in helping speed up this revolution.”
The teams will have 12 weeks to bring their concepts to life and will culminate in a public showcase in April at the Verizon 5G Cambridge Lab.