Latest platform release by Qualcomm brings together 5G and AI to support autonomous systems

Wireless technology company Qualcomm Technologies has launched a Robotics RB5 platform, an adaption of robotics and drone products available today. The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform includes hardware, software and development tools and brings together 5G and AI for use by developers and manufacturers to build robots and drones for commercial use.

Qualcomm reports more than 20 early adopters are evaluating the platform, and 30 ecosystem players are developing necessary hardware and software to enable various robotics applications. These include the following companies: 96Boards, Acontis, ADLINK, AirMap, AirServe, Airtonomy, AlwaysAI, Augmented Pixels, Autocore, Autoware Foundation, Canonical,, DreamVu, Dronecode,, GlobalEdge, Innominds Software, InOrbit, Intel RealSense, Lantronix, Linaro, LiteOn, Kudan, ModalAI, Nod, Open Robotics, Panasonic, PathPartners, Pilot.AI, Shoreline IoT, SLAMCORE, TDK, Thundercomm, and Tier IV.

The platform’s Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, customized for robotics applications, offers a heterogeneous computing architecture coupled with the fifth-generation Qualcomm AI Engine delivering 15 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) of performance for AI and deep learning workloads. The processor supports machine learning (ML) inferencing at the edge under restricted power budgets using the new Qualcomm Hexagon Tensor Accelerator (HTA) image signal processor (ISP) with support for seven concurrent cameras, and a dedicated computer vision engine for enhanced video analytics (EVA). With support for 4G and 5G connectivity speeds via a companion module, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform helps pave the way for the proliferation of 5G in robotics and intelligent systems.

With the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform and the Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, Qualcomm supports various design offerings including off-the-shelf system-on-module solutions and chip-on-board designs. The solution is available in multiple options, including commercial and industrial-grade temperature ranges and an option for extended lifecycle until 2029.

Qualcomm has entered into a strategic collaboration with TDK to add TDK sensor technologies as part of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform. TDK also enables the development kit with their ultrasonic Time-Of-Flight CH101 and CH201 solutions, in addition to their embedded motor control (HVC4223F) and high performance IMU with built-in redundancy (IIM-46220). Additional technologies by TDK include Hall effect and temperature sensors and validated and verified software algorithms dedicated to robotic applications.

The platform supports Linux, Ubuntu and Robot Operating System (ROS) 2.0, as well as pre-integrated drivers for various cameras, sensors and 5G connectivity. It provides support for OpenCL, OpenGLES and OpenCV. Additionally, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit includes support for the Intel RealSense Depth Camera D435i and Panasonic TOF Camera to provide depth-sensing capabilities. Finally, it uses 96Boards Consumer Edition Specification for rapid prototyping.

The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform supports long-range Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1, and 4G and 5G.

Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform technical features summary:

  • Heterogeneous computing capabilities;
  • 5th Generation Qualcomm AI engine;
  • Advanced imaging capability;
  • Security Support; and
  • Connectivity.

(Image: Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit)

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