M1 and SUTD partner to drive research in 5G robotics technology

Telco M1 and SUTD signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday (July 24) at a workshop. PHOTOS: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Telco M1 and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) are joining hands to drive research on advanced robots that use 5G technology.

Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday (July 24) at SUTD's annual Fostering Industrial Research Success Together (FIRST) Industry Workshop.

M1 will provide and develop the supporting 5G network, with an indoor network testbed of 5G small cells - the first of its kind in Singapore - to be set up in SUTD for researchers and students to work on.

Small cells are lower-power, short-range wireless transmission systems that cover a smaller geographical area than conventional base stations. They are touted as the foundation of future 5G networks because they can be rolled out quickly and widely to expand network coverage.

Areas of focus for the testbed include security and delivery services, the real-time remote operation of robots and e-scooters, and the production of virtual-reality and augmented-reality content for video-streaming.

The testbed aims to translate innovative research into practical solutions for government and enterprises, and develop a talent pipeline to drive Singapore's Smart Nation goals, M1 and SUTD said.

"We are pleased to collaborate with M1 to be the first to testbed an indoor 5G system in Singapore. SUTD's students, faculty and researchers will have access to the latest 5G technology, and (can) enhance their relevant knowledge and skills," said Professor Yeo Kiat Seng, SUTD's associate provost for research and international relations.

M1 chief technical officer Denis Seek said 5G technology is capable of supporting reliable low-latency communication well suited for the remote command and control of robots.

"The collaboration with SUTD offers us an exciting opportunity to build our in-house 5G competencies and attract students to participate in experimental 5G projects," he added.

Last month, Singtel and M1 were selected by regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to take part in smart port trials utilising 5G technology with port operator PSA Corporation.

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