CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — To support winners of MassTLC 5G Robotics Challenge sponsored by Verizon and Ericsson, Waypoint Robotics Inc. recently delivered a mobile manipulation platform to the 5G Lab at the Alley here. The challenge winners will use the mobile manipulation system, which includes Waypoint’s flagship Vector autonomous mobile industrial robot and its quick-swappable UR5 payload, to develop robotics solutions bolstered by 5G technology.
This first-of-its-kind challenge asks teams to create 5G-powered robotics technologies in three key areas: industrial automation, collaborative robotics (cobots), and warehouse automation. As part of the program, winners will be able to use the Vector mobile manipulation platform as needed. They will also have access to dedicated 5G networks at Verizon’s 5G laboratories in Cambridge and Waltham, Mass., as well as 5G training and mentorship from Verizon and Ericsson.
“We are excited to support the 5G Robotics Challenge winners who are working to accelerate robotics development with the advantages offered by 5G technology and mobile edge computing” said Jason Walker, CEO of Merrimack, N.H.-based Waypoint Robotics. “This is a great example of the thriving New England robotics community working together to push forward innovative technologies that will have real benefits for the workforce and the companies they work for.”
After a strong response to the call for proposals, the winning teams were announced by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) in February. They include university teams from Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, as well as four start-ups: Ava Robotics, GreenSight Agronomics, RealBotics, and Southie Autonomy.
Winners of the 5G Challenge each received $30,000 in grant funding 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 volume of ideas and creativity proposed during the submittal process underscores a thriving greater Boston robotics community, said MassTLC. Challenges like these with support from organizations like MassTLC, Verizon, and Ericsson help fuel this growth.
Waypoint Robotics said it will continue to contribute to the robotics community by offering advanced technology that is easy to use for both the industrial workforce and entrepreneurs alike who are putting real robots to work in the real world.