How advances in cellular networks can lead to better robots
Robots need to be smart; we all agree on that. We want our robots to be able to make intelligent and quick decisions. Usually, that means a bigger brain, or in robot terms - a bigger computer. After all, more computing power means more intelligent robots. However, robots must also be light and agile if we want them roaming around, helping us with various tasks. The bigger and heavier the robot, the more electricity it needs, which means bigger batteries and even more weight. So, how can we make the robot lose a few pounds? Well, some researchers suggest getting rid of the brain altogether. A brainless robot is a lighter robot, right?
But how can a robot function without its brain? The answer lies in the cloud. Take your smart assistant, for example. If you have an “Alexa” in your house, you know it can do a lot while taking up little room. That’s because the device itself has very limited capabilities. Without a wi-fi connection, Alexa is basically just a glorified Bluetooth speaker. But once connected to the internet, it can answer questions, make appointments, set reminders, and control your entire house. That’s because Alexa’s brain is on the cloud, and we can apply the same principle to a robot; Just put the robot's brain on the cloud. problem solved!
well, almost. internet connections can be a bit slow at times, which is not a real problem for home assistants; when Alexa takes two seconds to answer a question about the weather, no harm is done. But if a robot takes two seconds to detect a flight of stairs, That could be catastrophic. Robots must make snap decisions on the fly, reacting to the world around them in real-time. And that is where the 5G network comes into play; It’s not just a faster cellular network; it also has extremely low latency. This means the robot’s brain could be a very large, capable computer sitting in a warehouse somewhere, and the robot could be connected to it via a fast, low latency connection. Every decision the robot has to make travels wirelessly to that computer, which makes the necessary computations and sends back the results in a blink of an eye. This means lighter, faster, and more power-efficient robots that are also smarter.
Providing there is a strong and stable signal everywhere they go, which isn’t always the case with our smartphones, sadly. So at this point in time, the brainless robot is not yet a viable solution. but one day... who knows?