GTI, an international group dedicated to the advancement of TD-LTE and 5G technologies, has released a new white paper detailing research into cloud robotics.
Among other things, the paper states that the cloud robotics market is expected to grow from $34.1 billion in 2016 to $226.2 billion in 2021. This exponential growth prediction is based on advances in AI and machine learning, while consumer adoption is predicated primarily on two factors: an ageing population, and the increasing use of robots in industrial automation. However, cloud-connected robots are expected to help meet consumer needs in education, inspection, and security categories, among others.
GTI states that as the world population ages, and the average lifespan is extended globally, domestic robots are expected to become more important in assisting the elderly with vital activities. Domestic robots will become more prevalent and accepted as a factor of daily life, leading to increasing adoption by regular consumers.
Huawei GIV has predicted that a combination of mobile connectivity and artificial intelligence will result in domestic robot market penetration of 12% to all families worldwide, claiming that intelligent robots will ‘change the face of all industries in the same way that the automotive industry was transformative in the 20th century.’
The GTI cloud robotics working group supports this prediction, noting that by 2020 90% of all robots will be connected through the cloud and that 20 million new connections will be required each year to support the daily operations of cloud-connected robots.
As a result, GTI makes the case that 5G technologies are required to meet the increasing demands for network connectivity required by the upcoming growth in the cloud robotics market.
In cloud robotics, four different types of connections are necessary: monitoring and status reporting, real-time controls, voice and video processing, and software and services downloads.
A network must provide extraordinarily low latency to meet these requirements. To be considered operating ‘seamlessly’, a robot must have a delay of no more than 100ms. Current delays are more than twice this number, however, with improvements in computing power and networking a machine vision delay of 80-100ms is believed to be achievable.
Overall, GTI has predicted that the cloud robotics market is about to blast off, with consumer applications in businesses of all types as well as in the home. Because of this, a massive amount of low-latency connections will be required for proper functioning of connected robotic devices, making the adoption of 5G networks a vital requirement for global communications providers.