Qualcomm Launches World’s First 5G and Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Robotics Platform

July 10, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

Qualcomm releases the first 96Board compliant robotics platform.

Qualcomm is a strong proponent of the Invention Age of wireless mobile technology. The company develops wireless chipset platforms and other product solutions with applications spanning automotive, industrial and commercial, networking, cameras, audio, and mobile PCs.

Recently, Qualcomm released the Robotics RB5 platform. The company used its extensive 5G expertise and AI know-how to develop a system that enables its customers to build the next generation of robots and drones for enterprise, consumer, defense, and industrial service sectors. 


The RB5 Platform QRB5165 Processor

The RB5’s QRB5165 Processor comes with Qualcomm’s 5th generation AI engine which can deliver 15 Tera Trillion Operations Per Second (TOPS) of AI performance. This engine is Qualcomm’s new Qualcomm Hexagon Tensor Accelerator (HTA). This efficient running of complex AI and deep learning workloads and on-device edge inferencing. All the while the system uses lower power, on-device machine learning, and accurate edge inferencing. 


Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Platform. Image courtesy of Qualcomm.


The processor’s powerful image signal processor (ISP) is capable of supporting seven concurrent cameras to facilitate simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). The hardware accelerator works in conjunction with the Engine for Video Analytics (EVA) to accommodate all Computer Vision (CV) tasks. The platform’s Qualcomm Spectra ISP is able to capture high-quality images and videos with a processing speed of 2 Gigapixels per second. 


Secure Processing Unit

Another feature of the RB5 platform is its Secure Processing Unit which provides robust security to reassure users while retaining system power. The unit includes secure boot, cryptographic accelerators, camera security, Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), and is FIPS 140-2 certified. Users of the platform also benefit from extra security features which include malware protection, Qualcomm Content Protection, Qualcomm Mobile Security, Qualcomm Processor Security, key provisioning security, a secure token to support remote attestation, and secure device provisioning. 

Lastly, the RB5 platform provides the highest level of connectivity (long-range Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and 4G and 5G).


Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Hardware Development Kit 

Based on Qualcomm’s QRB5165 processor, the company developed a hardware kit with a robotics-focused, compliant (96Boards open hardware specification) development board. The board is able to support a wide range of mezzanine-board expansions for pioneering proofs-of-concept and achieving rapid prototyping. 


The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 Development Kit. Image courtesy of Qualcomm.


Developers are provided with the freedom of flexibility, being able to choose between software including Linux and Ubuntu for robotics applications. Qualcomm’s development kit also supports multiple software development kits (SDKs) and tools, including Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK for AI, Qualcomm Computer Vision SDK, Qualcomm Robotics Vision SDK, Qualcomm Hexagon digital signal processor (DSP) SDK, and Robotics Operating System (ROS) 2. Qualcomm’s RB5 kit also features a variety of interfaces and I/Os which can connect to many sensors. 

Qualcomm’s RB5 platform is the first 96Boards compliant platform offering customers innovative vision, processing, connective, AI, and machine learning capabilities for developers within robot and drone markets.