NTT Docomo and Nokia agreed to conduct 5G field trials using autonomous mobile robots from Omron at production sites in Japan.

In a statement, Nokia said its 5G gear will support Omron’s factory automation equipment, providing stable connectivity between IoT devices and helping prove the feasibility of the set up. The trials will use robots to automatically deliver components to the locations where they are required.

Tests also will be run using cameras to monitor machine operators in real time and an AI-based system to provide feedback on their performance. The goal is to coach technicians by detecting and analysing the differences in motion between experienced and non-experienced personnel, Nokia said.

John Harrington, president and CEO of Nokia Japan, said the trials will address some of the biggest challenges facing manufacturers today: “While consumers will experience faster, more immediate mobile communications, it is manufacturers that are set to benefit the most from 5G”.

Takehiro Nakamura, GM of NTT Docomo’s 5G Laboratories, said factory automation emerged as one of the most interesting and challenging fields to explore following multiple trials of 5G use cases.