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Huawei 5G deal focuses on AI and smart robotics

Edinburgh experts and global telecoms firm Huawei are to collaborate on the development of artificially intelligent robots supported by next-generation wireless networks.

A new research partnership was signed by the University and Huawei in a ceremony at the 2017 Global Mobile Broadband Forum event in London.

Teams at Huawei’s Wireless X Labs and the University’s new Bayes Centre will focus on devices that operate using 5G networks.

Peter Zhou and Charlie Jeffery agree a new research partnership between the University and Huawei credit Zhaohui Zhang
Peter Zhou and Charlie Jeffery agree a new research partnership between the University and Huawei (image credit Zhaohui Zhang)

Autonomous devices

This fifth generation of wireless connectivity is being developed to support data-driven innovation in areas such as the internet of things (IoT), in which artificially intelligent objects can autonomously interact with one another.

Experts will investigate how AI systems can use wireless 5G networks to provide optimum support for connected robotics and autonomous systems. 

Areas of initial focus will include healthcare robotics – such as automated surgical devices – and mobile video applications, such as smart webcams.

Expert capabilities

The partnership will build on the University’s capabilities in AI and autonomous systems. It will explore how these systems will use AI to collaborate using next-generation mobile broadband networks.

Such an approach could enhance the performance of both networks and applications, supporting greater interaction between people and computing systems.

The project extends the existing data science relationship between Huawei and the University, following the announcement in June of a joint lab hosted at the University’s School of Informatics.

Signing ceremony

This new research cooperation was signed by Peter Zhou, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Wireless Solution and Professor Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice Principal of the University.

Also in attendance were Professor Jon Oberlander, Assistant Principal Data Technology, who has joined the Advisory Committee of Huawei’s Wireless X Labs, and David Richardson, Director of Partnerships for the Bayes Centre.

We are thrilled to have deepened our relationship with Huawei to researching 5G within AI applications. Our ambition is to utilise the knowledge of our world-leading experts to fully understand the interaction of AI and robotics systems with mobile networks. This new research agreement gives our team the opportunity to apply their 5G networking expertise into solving real-world problems – helping to transform industries including healthcare and emergency services.

Professor Charlie JefferySenior Vice Principal, University of Edinburgh

We are delighted to continue working with the world-leading team at the University of Edinburgh to help understand how improvements within mobile broadband can foster innovation within wireless robotics systems. AI is a key feature of 5G networking, and we are excited to deepen our understanding of how the interaction between applications and networks can create new benefits and enhancements.

Peter ZhouChief Marketing Officer, Huawei Wireless Solution

All images © Zhaohui Zhang