Nokia and NTT DoCoMo to use 5G and AI to monitor workers

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Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Telco equipment maker Nokia, Japanese telco NTT DoCoMo, and industrial automation company Omron have agreed to conduct 5G trials at their plants and production sites.

As part of the trial, the trio will look to couple 5G and artificial intelligence together to create "real-time coaching" for workers.

"Machine operators will be monitored using cameras, with an AI-based system providing feedback on their performance based on an analysis of their movements," Nokia said in a statement.

"This will help improve the training of technicians by detecting and analysing the differences of motion between more skilled and less skilled personnel."

The trial will also test how reliable 5G is when the movement of people and background noise from machinery is involved. The trio will also test whether a "layout-free production line with Autonomous Mobile Robots" concept is feasible.

"This trial will allow us to address some of the biggest challenges facing manufacturers today," president and CEO of Nokia Japan John Harrington said. "Whilst consumers will experience faster, more immediate mobile communications, it is manufacturers that are set to benefit the most from 5G."

"Production lines will be more flexible and adaptable, and productivity on the factory floor can be more easily improved."

Speaking last week, Telstra network engineering executive Channa Seneviratne said he thought the sweet spot for 5G was in the enterprise.

One of Telstra's customers, Australian construction firm Taylor said it was looking into using sensors in the buildings it constructs to provide data on concrete gradings and weaknesses to customers once they are done.

"We're looking at technologies whereby we can put smart sensors and augmented reality into the building structure itself," Taylor IT manager Christian Neyle said.

"So that even after the lifecycle is handed past the builder, the customer can come along with their iPads and see the structural steel behind the walls, they can see the information and actually check concrete gradings, and find out if there are any weaknesses that could have been seen earlier in the process."

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