Qualcomm Launches World’s First 5G and AI-Enabled Robotics Platform
June 17, 2020 | Qualcomm Press Note
Qualcomm® Robotics RB5 Platform Delivers Cutting-Edge Connectivity and Power Efficient Inferencing at the Edge for AI and Machine Learning (ML)
The Platform Facilitates Accelerated Development of Innovative, Power-Efficient, High Computing Robots and Drones for Enterprise, Industrial and Professional Service Applications
Qualcomm® QRB5165 Robotics Processor Enables AI, ML, Heterogeneous Computing, Enhanced Computer Vision, Multi-Camera Concurrency with Advanced ISPs, While Supporting Industrial-Grade Temperature Range and Security at Every Layer
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., today announced the Qualcomm® Robotics RB5 platform – the Company’s most advanced, integrated, comprehensive offering designed specifically for robotics. Building on the successful Qualcomm® Robotics RB3 platform and its broad adoption in a wide array of robotics and drone products available today, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform is comprised of an extensive set of hardware, software and development tools. The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform is the first of its kind to bring together the Company’s deep expertise in 5G and AI to empower developers and manufacturers to create the next generation of high-compute, low-power robots and drones for the consumer, enterprise, defense, industrial and professional service sectors – and the comprehensive Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit helps ensure developers have the customization and flexibility they need to make their visions a commercial reality. To date, Qualcomm Technologies has engaged many leading companies that have endorsed the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, including 20+ early adopters in the process of evaluating the platform (see endorsement quotes below). Additionally, 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, DeepEdge.ai, DreamVu, Dronecode, Fractal.ai, 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 powerful heterogeneous computing architecture coupled with the leading fifth-generation Qualcomm® AI Engine delivering 15 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) of AI performance for running complex AI and deep learning workloads. The processor also offers incredible machine learning (ML) inferencing at the edge under restricted power budgets using the new Qualcomm® Hexagon™ Tensor Accelerator (HTA), a powerful 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, the Company enables various design offerings including off-the-shelf system-on-module solutions and flexible 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 Technologies is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator with a strong foundation in AI, mobile computing and connectivity. By applying its deep-rooted mobile systems expertise to the robotics industry, Qualcomm Technologies is helping to enable the creation of more powerful, secure, and intelligent robots than ever before,” said Dev Singh, senior director, business development and head of autonomous robotics, drones and intelligent machines, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, Qualcomm Technologies will help accelerate growth in a wide array of robotics segments such as autonomous mobile robots (AMR), delivery, inspection, inventory, industrial, collaborative robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), enabling Industry 4.0 robotics use cases, and laying the foundation for the UAV Traffic Management (UTM) space.”
To enable the next generation of robotics solutions and designs, Qualcomm Technologies has entered into a strategic collaboration with TDK to further enhance the capabilities of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform. TDK has added their latest state of the art sensor technologies for enhanced robotics applications as part of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform and they have been instrumental in providing world class sensor solutions and motor control hardware.
The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit is comprehensive, customizable and easy-to-use. Developers have flexible software capabilities, with the platform offering support for Linux, Ubuntu and Robot Operating System (ROS) 2.0, as well as pre-integrated drivers for various cameras, sensors and 5G connectivity. It also 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 leading depth-sensing capabilities. Our strategic collaboration with TDK has been integral in enabling our Qualcomm RB5 Robotics Development Kit with TDK’s 6-axis, high performance ICM-42688-P IMU, accompanied by a ICP-10111 barometric pressure and a T5818 Digital (PDM) bottom port microphone. 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. Finally, the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit utilizes 96Boards Consumer Edition Specification which helps offer versatility for creating innovative proof-of-concepts and rapid prototyping.
Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit
Key Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform technical features include:
- Powerful Heterogeneous Computing Capabilities: For high power computing performance, the Qualcomm QRB5165 processor of Qualcomm RB5 Platform integrates Octa Core Qualcomm® Kryo™ 585 CPU, powerful Qualcomm® Adreno™ 650 GPU, multiple DSPs (compute, audio and sensor) and ISPs. It also contains a dedicated, powerful AI engine, which includes the Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, and dedicated computer vision hardware block (EnhancedVideo Analytics engine)
- 5th Generation Qualcomm AI Engine:New dedicated Hexagon Tensor Accelerator is based on the leading fifth-generation Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine, delivering a whopping 15 TOPS of AI performance with high AI and ML inferencing.
- Advanced Imaging Capability: Qualcomm Spectra™ 480 Image Signal Processor (ISP) captures fast, professional-quality photos and videos, and can process 2 Gigapixels per second. This Gigapixel speed supports superior camera features, including Dolby Vision video capture, 8K video recording (at 30 FPS) and 200-megapixel photos, and simultaneously captures 4K HDR video (at 120 FPS) and 64 MP photos with zero shutter lag. The hardware accelerator utilizes the Engine for Video Analytics (EVA) to handle all Computer Vision (CV) tasks. Additional ISP features include HEIF photo capture, slow motion video capture, and advanced video capture formats (including Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HEVC and HLG). Seven concurrent cameras facilitate simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), object detection and classification, autonomous navigation and path planning to efficiently and safely perform tasks in complex indoor and outdoor settings.
- Security Support: The Qualcomm® Secure Processing Unit is designed to offer robust security without compromising power. The Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit includes secure boot, cryptographic accelerators, Qualcomm® Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) and camera security and is FIPS 140-2 certified. Additional security features include key provisioning security, malware protection, Qualcomm® Content Protection, Qualcomm® Mobile Security, Qualcomm® Processor Security, and secure token to support remote attestation and secure device provisioning. For advanced AI and ML security, the platform supports Biometric Authentication (including fingerprint, iris, voice, and face).
- Connectivity: The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform supports long-range Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1, and 4G and 5G, providing the highest level of connectivity available.
Customer and Partner Endorsements for Qualcomm Technologies’ Robotics Solutions:
“We are very excited to support the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform as the latest addition to the 96Boards.AI initiative,” said Dr. Yang Zhang, director, 96Boards. “Qualcomm Robotics RB5 featuring QRB5165 Robotics Processor, is the first 96Boards compliant platform offering 5G, AI, Heterogeneous Computing, Computer Vision Engine, Advanced ISP Multi-Camera Concurrency for a large range of applications. With our partners, we believe this product will revolutionize the robotic and drone market as we know today. We are pleased to see our member Qualcomm Technologies continue to deliver its commitment to the wider developer ecosystem, with a clear path for production.”
“EtherCAT is a simple, robust, affordable, ethernet-based industrial protocol with integrated safety that delivers exceptional performance in flexible topologies making it ideal for industrial robotics applications,” said Jon Waters, president and general manager, Acontis. “We are delighted to see Qualcomm Technologies recognize the importance of EtherCAT for robotics applications and making it available as part of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Platform. We are excited to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies to proliferate EtherCAT adoption across various robotics applications.”
“ADLINK is very pleased to support the launch of Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform. As a global leader in edge computing, ADLINK is committed to serving our customers across industries with cutting-edge technologies in AI, machine vision and Industrial IoT,” said Henry Hu, global business development director, ADLINK TECHNOLOGY INC. “We are excited to be one of the early adopters to embark on a series of new developments based on Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform. By harnessing the power of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform’s Qualcomm AI Engine and 5G connectivity, ADLINK will be able to significantly leverage our deep expertise in heterogeneous computing and industry-grade ruggedness, and ultimately enable a broad range of next-generation applications such as autonomous mobile robots, industrial robots, and unmanned aerial vehicles.”
“Today’s Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform builds on our continued work with Qualcomm Technologies to help developers easily build intelligent robotics functions using AWS cloud services,” said Roger Barga, general manager, robotics and automation services, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is designed to give robotics developers a complete cloud to edge solution, accelerating development, providing intelligence out of the box, and easing robotic lifecycle management.”
“AutoCore.ai is pleased to announce its support of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform product launch. AutoCore specializes in functional safety real time middleware and heterogeneous computing platform design. We are excited to enable AutoCore’s core offering onto the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, leveraging the rich feature sets, as well as its flexibility and power efficiency to benefit AutoCore’s target customers from the industrial automation, robotics and AGV market,” says Cheng Chen, chief technology officer, AutoCore.
“Autoware Foundation is also pleased to support Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform launch. Autoware Foundation is a non-profit organization founded to develop, support and promote autonomous system technology. Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform fits very well with the Autoware.io heterogeneous computing platform strategy,” says Shinpei Kato, chairman, Autoware Foundation.
“Today’s global events have brought the value of automation and robotics sharply into focus, so it’s exciting to see Qualcomm Technologies address such a broad array of robotics categories and applications with its enhanced platform, which powers the world’s largest fleet of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) operating in indoor public spaces through its BrainOS software technology. Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform will provide a big innovation boost to the industry at large, while enhancing San Diego’s reputation as a global hub for AI and robotics,” says Dr. Jean Baptiste Passot, vice president, platform and AI, San Diego-based Brain Corp.
“The new Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform is a game changer for drone and autonomous robotics, as its machine learning accelerators will allow adopters to replace manual inputs with AI,” says Lorenz Meier, chief executive officer, Auterion and chairman, Dronecode.
“We believe the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform will offer a critical advantage for our next-generation unmanned systems,” says, Roger Wells, vice president and general manager, unmanned systems and integrated solutions, FLIR.”
“LG is evaluating the Qualcomm Robotics RB3/RB5 Platform, and plans to introduce next-generation robotic products based on the platform next year,” says LG Electronics Inc.
“As the leading e-commerce platform for services, Meituan has invested in logistics and autonomous delivery for years and kept exploring the possibilities of industry applications with the innovations such as drones and driverless delivery vehicles. Meituan is expecting to cooperate with Qualcomm Technologies in the future to explore the cutting-edge use cases in the industry by implementing the capabilities of Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform in the areas including computing, AI, security and connectivity to deliver innovative services to our customers,” says Meituan Dianping.
“The incredible amount of AI processing and 5G capabilities built into the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform will enable new autonomous drone experiences, such as navigating quickly through tight spaces while mapping the environment for objects of interest. We look forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies and integrating the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform to build off of our existing work with the Defense Innovation Unit to expand the capabilities of our sUAS platforms,” says Chad Sweet, chief executive officer, ModalAI.
“The new Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform from Qualcomm Technologies is a dream chipset come true. The platform integrates key capabilities such as high-performance heterogeneous computing, 5G/LTE, the Qualcomm AI Engine for on-device inferencing and computer vision, hi-fidelity sensor processing for perception, odometry for localization, mapping, navigation, strong security, and Wi-Fi connectivity, all required for NXT Robotics’ two autonomous AI driven security patrol and public safety vehicles called Maverick and Scorpion. The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform allows us to leverage flexible design options for the development and commercialization of our RobotogoAI autonomous platform allowing us to rapidly move from new feature prototype to full commercialization,” says Darin Andersen, chief executive officer, cofounder, NXT Robotics Corp.
“Open Robotics is the hub of a global community, creating and applying open software and hardware platforms for robotics. In our work we aim to lower the barrier to entry into the field for students, researchers, application developers, and entrepreneurs alike. So I’m excited to see the release of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, which will help to spur yet more innovation in robotics across a variety of application domains,” says Brian Gerkey, chief executive officer, Open Robotics.
“We have long-standing deep cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies based on Qualcomm Robotics RB3 platform to provide our customers with cutting-edge products. The newly launched Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform will bring the industry with technology offerings including the improved power-efficiency, heterogeneous computing, AI, machine learning and 5G capabilities. OrionStar is looking forward to expanding our collaborations to the new Qualcomm Robotic RB5 platform to deliver the unparalleled robotic products and extreme interactive experiences,” says Bruce Wang, chief strategy officer, OrionStar.
“5G and AI technologies have demonstrated its powerful driving force as industry transitions to a new era. We are glad to become one of the first in the industry to adopt the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform. Siasun works closely with Qualcomm Technologies, with the powerful computing capability of up to 15 TOPS based on the 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine and other advanced features, Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform will give Siasun Pongbot ping-pong robot system more possibilities including light-weight mobility, remote real-time interaction of multiple devices, real-time AI computing and feedback on cloud,” says Luo Yang, vice president, Siasun.
“We are excited about the promise that the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform holds for the small Unmanned Air Vehicle (sUAV) industry. As the leading U.S. manufacturer of autonomous drones, we leverage breakthrough computer vision and AI to create the world’s most intelligent flying machines. The cutting edge 4G/LTE, 5G, heterogeneous compute, AI, camera, and security technologies integrated into the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform will enable us to create the next generation autonomous drones,” Abe Bachrach, chief technology officer, co-founder, Skydio, Inc.
“SoftBank Robotics has been working in deep cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies. Our R&D will leverage the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, using its power-efficient and high-end wireless connectivity features to empower our robotics roadmap.” says Xavier Lacherade, chief operating officer, SoftBank Robotics Europe.
“We are proud that we are an integral partner of the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform launch and strategy,” said Scott Deutsch, general manager and vice president, worldwide sales and marketing, InvenSense, a TDK group company. “TDK’s advanced, integrated, and comprehensive robotic sensor offerings are designed specifically for the next generation low-power, high performance sensing robots and are critical to the needs of today’s OEM development teams.”
“Thundercomm is a world-leading IoT product and solution provider. With our years’ experience and expertise in the fields of AI and IoT, we can provide proven end to end solutions to accelerate customers’ development period and business cycle,” says Hiro Cai, chief executive officer, Thundercomm. “Together with Qualcomm Technologies, we have empowered our customers to design and manufacture intelligent robots in different industries. Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, as an advanced 5G and AI-based robotics platform, meets the high demand of industry transformation, and promotes industrial upgrading. We are excited to cooperate with Qualcomm Technologies to create a wide array of robotics products for next generation.”
“As a leading autonomous driving software developer and system integrator of Autoware, the leading open source AD software, Tier IV is very excited at the prospect of working with Qualcomm Technologies and their customers to ramp up the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform-based solutions targeting the autonomous vehicle market. The high performance, optimized architecture and extensive processing capabilities will enable the next generation of power and cost optimized AV platforms running Autoware and enable broader availability of AD technology to benefit a wide range of applications and services,” says Dr. Kazuya Takeda, representative director, Tier IV, Inc.
Commercial products based on the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform are expected to be available in 2020. For more information and to start developing products based on the platform, please visit the Qualcomm® Developer Network webpage and the Qualcomm Technologies’ product webpage. A development kit for the Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform is available for pre-order now from Thundercomm’swebpage.
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Qualcomm Robotics RB3 platform, Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform, Qualcomm Hexagon Qualcomm Kryo, Qualcomm Spectra, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm QRB5165, Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit, Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment, Qualcomm Content Protection, Qualcomm Mobile Security, Qualcomm Processor Security and Qualcomm AI Engine are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
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