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True remote controlling at the upcoming Mobile World Congress

In a few weeks’ time (March 2-5) we’ll be at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This year we at the UX Lab will be there to present the evolved version of the concept “Remote Control over Mobile Networks” that we introduced last year (http://www.ericsson.com/strategicdesign/2014/03/mwc-recap-presenting-an-ux-view-of-the-future-of-mobile-networks-and-systems/)*. We’re pretty excited considering that this year we will present a fully working demonstrator of the concept in which visitors to our stand will be able to operate two excavators remotely – one machine will be in Barcelona and the other will be in Eskilstuna, Sweden – live over mobile networks.

Volvo crane
Demonstrator setup

Demonstrator setup
The original concept behind this demonstrator was created as a result of our research into the characteristics of 5G (described in more detail here http://www.ericsson.com/strategicdesign/2014/08/5g-material/) in 2013. The demonstrator that we then designed and built was a great way for us to initiate discussions and debates about future telecom technologies and infrastructure, and we have spent many hours talking about the concept, both during last year's MWC and after. As it turned out, some of the most rewarding and interesting discussions have been with representatives from areas or disciplines that could potentially benefit from our proposal. One such stakeholder was Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) (http://www.volvoce.com) a company we got in touch with in early 2014. We discovered that one area of potential future technology Volvo CE's research engineers were investigating involved controlling construction equipment remotely. Both companies could see benefits in exploring this research project together.

And so we did!

During 2014 we at the UX Lab, the OpenWebRTC team team of Ericsson Research (http://www.openwebrtc.io), Volvo CE, and Oryx Simulations (http://www.oryx.se) have developed a fully working prototype of the concept that was introduced at last year's MWC. The result is a demonstrator that allows for controlling excavators over mobile networks in real time. The current setup provides a true experience of what is possible to achieve using today's state of the art technology. However, it also highlights what's needed of future technologies in order to really deliver a satisfactory experience. The demonstrator points at the transformative power of ICT, but also how ICT can (and will) be influenced by non ICT issues. For example, when experiencing the demonstrator it is easy to understand the potential disruptive effects of the proposed solution in terms of skill training, new competence requirements, legislation, and security requirements.

Despite the exciting outcome of this project, it's important to emphasise that these activities are purely research oriented – this collaboration should not be considered as anything more than an exploratory research project. That being said, it was highly successful and we're happy to share the results at the upcoming Mobile World Congress.

As usual, the access to the Ericsson hall at the MWC is per invitation only. Please get in touch if you will attend the congress and would like to meet: cristian.norlin@ericsson.com.

*http://www.ericsson.com/strategicdesign/2014/03/mwc-recap-presenting-an-ux-view-of-the-future-of-mobile-networks-and-systems/


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