Boston Dynamic's Spot gets 5G upgrade in Ericsson trial

Spot a yellow robot dog checking a fence

Ericsson has managed to make Boston Dynamic’s Spot 5G-equipped in a trial with the TDC NET 5G Innovation Hub in Denmark. The two partners worked to get Spot connected up to TDC’s 5G network so that it could be operated across greater distances. Previously, Spot had to be connected to WiFi which limited the connectivity range to just 30 meters.

To demonstrate the technology in the real world, the partners teamed up with the Hans Christian Anderson Airport and Lorenz Technology to have Spot do security checks on the perimeter fencing around the site. While the demonstration may seem a bit mundane, Spot can navigate uneven terrain, climb stairs and get into small spaces so its use cases are quite extensive. With the 5G upgrade, it should be able to perform these tasks almost anywhere.

Rules and regulations require that several perimeter-fence checks are carried out several times a day. This is usually performed by employees who go around the fence to check for any damage. The fence inspection technology was developed by the Danish Agency for Education and Research under the Ministry of Education and Research; it used deep learning methods so that Spot could find and report any signs of damage in real-time.

Commenting on the trial, Head of Ericsson Denmark Niclas Backlund said:

“Industries and enterprises globally are becoming increasingly engaged with the huge benefits that 5G will bring to their indoor production and operations. What this exciting initiative with TDC, the Danish Technological Institute, Hans Christian Anderson Airport and Lorenz Technology highlighted is the power of commercial national 5G networks to transform business and society.”

Ericsson confirmed that the trial, which ended in February, was successful and shows that Spot can be deployed using 5G mobile networks. It said that this trial gives the green light to the industry to find new ways to leverage Spot in the fields of monitoring, image recognition, and video analytics autonomous operations.

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