Japanese operator NTT Docomo has teamed up with Omron and Nokia Solutions and Networks to jointly roll out trials of 5G mobile services inside factories. During the trials, Docomo, Omron and Nokia plan to test the feasibility of using 5G connectivity to create layout-free production lines using Autonomous Mobile Robots, which are able to act autonomously in complex and changing environments. The three partners also plan to demonstrate the feasibility of human-machine collaboration inside manufacturing plants.
By using Autonomous Mobile Robots to create production lines with flexible layouts, manufacturers are expected to be able to quickly build these and change their layout in line with fluctuations in demand. The three partners plan to enhance productivity within plants by having AMRs automatically convey components to the exact spot they are required on the basis of communication with production line equipment.
In addition, production line technicians will be monitored with dedicated cameras, with the system giving feedback on their performance based on an analysis of their movements transmitted to servers using 5G communication. This is designed to help improve their training by detecting and analyzing the differences of motion between more skilled and less skilled personnel.