New one6G Position Paper on 6G robotics

position paperone6G Association Working Group 1 has released the position paper “6G and Robotics” which envisions a future where 6G technologies and solutions allow for the potential of smart connectivity for a secure, resilient and sustainable development of our society, with a focus on the growing trend of robotics applications.

According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the worldwide annual installation of industrial robots has surpassed half a million mark, with the operating stock of industrial robots also surpassing three million. The electrical/electronics industry is a major customer for industrial robots, while other industries such as automotive, metal and machinery, plastic and chemical products, and food show significant two-digit growth. The market for industrial robots is expected to continue growing, with the highest number of installations in the Asia/Australia market, followed by Europe and the Americas.

Collaborative robots (Cobots) in industrial environments are also on the rise, with the market share of Cobots compared to traditional robots steadily growing. This could mean that different robotic applications such as material handling, welding, assembling, and sorting may increasingly rely on human and robot collaboration to complete tasks.

In the area of service robots, their demand for professional and consumer use is also increasing in several regions around the world, such as Asia, Europe, and North America. For example, robots are increasingly being used in warehouses, hospitals, airports, and even on dairy farms to carry out specific tasks.

In addition, there is a growing demand for staff in key societal areas such as healthcare. According to a report prepared for the European Commission, there is a severe shortage of professionals in healthcare and long-term care sectors in Germany. It is projected that in the area of long-term care, additional staff requirements could be as high as 263,000 – 500,000 professionals by 2030. Medical robots are becoming one of the top application areas for professional use robots, and personnel shortages in critical societal areas could be complemented by the use of robots to support medical and healthcare services.

The position paper argues that 6G technology is needed to support the growing demand for robotics applications in different scenarios and applications. While 5G communication systems have begun to pave the way for supporting wireless communication in robotic applications, 6G is needed to support higher density of secure communication links (including inter-robot and intra-robot communication) with stringent performance requirements, ensure service availability at almost all times, everywhere, provide highly accurate environment awareness, support highly dynamic Quality of Service  adaptation mechanisms to ensure safety when in close proximity with humans, and enhance sensing capabilities to assist in decision-making.

You can download the one6G Position Paper on 6G & Robotics here (PDF)

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