Verizon and the Mass Tech Leadership Council (MassTLC), in collaboration with Ericsson, have launched the Verizon 5G Robotics Challenge, a unique opportunity for universities, startups, and other developers to create 5G-powered robotics technologies that will transform the industry.

Leveraging the unique speed, bandwidth and latency benefits of 5G technology, participants of the Verizon 5G Robotics Challenge will create insights, develop new use cases, and conceive innovative products that will advance the robotics industry. The teams will create solutions in three key areas: industrial automation, collaborative robotics (cobots), and warehouse automation.

In addition to receiving grants of up to USD 30,000 each, the winning teams will also have access to dedicated 5G networks at Verizon’s 5G Cambridge Lab and 5G Waltham Lab (near Boston, Massachusetts), 5G training and mentorship from Verizon and Ericsson, and access to support teams within the local robotics community to bring their concepts to life.

Yossi Cohen, Head of Customer Unit Verizon, Ericsson North America, says: “The new capabilities being introduced with 5G have the power to transform the industry. Ericsson is pioneering the application of 5G to industrial automation and robotics, and we are proud to be partnering with Verizon and MassTLC to help advance the technology.”

Ericsson has a history of supporting innovation in robotics. In the Tuscany region of Italy, Ericsson’s collaborates with Zucchetti Centro Sistemi and The BioRobotics Institute to gain an in-depth understanding of robotic systems.

As part of this, developers have created an innovative system architecture that moves robotic intelligence to the cloud in order to utilize its massive computing power. 5G is central to the project that allows robots to ‘talk’ to the cloud via Ericsson’s network infrastructure.