The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) this week announced two university teams and five startup companies as the winners of the inaugural 5G Robotics Challenge, sponsored by Verizon and Ericsson. Each team will 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 university teams were from Northeastern and the University of Massachusetts Lowell; the five startups were 6 River Systems, Ava Robotics, GreenSight Agronomics, RealBotics, and Southie Autonomy. Southie Autonomy was the winner of the 2018 Pitchfire competition held at RoboBusiness 2018.
Public showcase in April
Each team will have 12 weeks to bring their concepts to life, which will then be shown at a public showcase in April 2019 at the Verizon 5G Cambridge Lab. Teams will create solutions in three key areas – industrial automation, collaborative robotics, and warehouse automation. The teams will also have access to dedicated 5G networks at Verizon’s 5G Cambridge Lab, and the 5G Waltham Lab, as well as 5G training and mentorship from sponsor companies Verizon and Ericsson.
“Massachusetts is the nation’s innovation leader,” said MassTLC CEO Tom Hopcroft, in a statement announcing the winners. “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.”
“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.”