As a part of Birmingham Tech Week 2021, West Midlands 5G (WM5G) hosted a demonstration day at Aston Conference Centre. We have compiled our four favourite use-cases, all of which emphasise the significance of 5G.
Corporate Health International (CHI): Telehealth
Already providing a national service in Scotland to 2000 people, CHI plans to scale healthcare services. Funded by NHS England, the company is utilising 5G-facilitated Medtronic PillCam II capsules and equipment to provide an opportunity to think differently about the endoscopy pathway, tackle backlogs, and create a new diagnostic approach.
The fully-managed service is designed to achieve the highest patient satisfaction by supporting the person in their own home—and hopes to take the pressure off health services by relieving consultants, nurses, technicians, and administrators from screening, informing and preparing patients. Completion rates are currently estimated at between 75% and 90%, and there is an average three-day turn-around for reports (even when videos are 12 hours long!).
“The technology needs 5G’s strong connection,” said James Cameron, Chief Operations Officer, CHI UK. “It is this reliability that allows patients to dial in and speak to a nurse without any lag, reducing carbon footprint. 5G-enabled AI is likewise used to deliver our wireless capsule endoscopy services. 5G is the future of telehealth.”
Vortex: Continuous urban scanning
Vortex is connecting the unconnected—enabling continuous urban scanning of your environment, for smarter asset management. VTXCity features 3D city mapping, modelling, surveying and inventory; retrofit to public transport and municipal vehicles; and remote condition monitoring of a city’s assets.
This is expected to improve safety and reduce the risk of traffic accidents. What’s more, the 5G-enabled transport project generates a real-time map of data and provides insight on street furniture, road features, parking usage, cleanliness and waste removal: this will encourage a move to predictive maintenance and reduce carbon emissions with on vehicle deployment, in addition to operational costs.
“This would not be possible with 4G. The amount of data produced by the scanner in order to gain real-time insight is 800Mbit per second, which requires 5G‘s depth. We will be trialling this deployment next month, in partnership with National Express. It’s incredibly exciting,” said Thomas Cole, R&D Engineer.
ASTUTE: Cognitive robots
ASTUTE brings together a broad range of technologies and capabilities that are key to the development of the modern smart city. At the heart of the institute’s vision is the idea that technology should be developed for the benefit of the urban citizen, contributing to an improved quality of life by enhancing mobility and extracting the maximum benefit from the vast quantities of data generated by modern pervasive computing systems.
There is a growing desire to develop robots that are capable of helping humans with daily tasks. ASTUTE’s cognitive robot, built with four cameras, is able to understand its environment and choose a safe and human-aware course of action, learning from experience but also interaction. The aim is to endow robots with the capacity to plan solutions for complex goals and to enact those plans while being reactive to unexpected changes in their environments.
“Well, 5G would be very useful! Currently, the cameras of the robot are connected to Wi-Fi but as a result, we sometimes have problems with connectivity. 5G could be integrated with the devices’ sensors and this would ensure the reliability of the robot while increasing efficiency. This is definitely something we plan to deploy in the future,” says Luis Manso, a lecturer in computer science at Aston University.
APF: Advanced 3D Printing and prototyping
ADF offers SMEs support with manufacturing design concepts and helps businesses to quickly and accurately produce prototypes. Even when companies have their own 3D printer, ADF can still be useful: the European Union-funded project can produce a range of materials and at an impressive speed, too. Additionally, ADF offers advice on CAD packages and reverse engineering using 3D scanners.
This results in a faster and more eco-friendly design cycle, allowing small companies to test their design in the “real-world” environment, which makes it easier to identify potential problems and prevent costly mistakes.
“5G would be incredibly helpful. This machine currently runs on Wi-Fi. If we were to go cableless, this would take the project to the next level. We wouldn’t have to worry about wires and could set up anywhere and everywhere,” said a spokesperson for APF.