To design, code and build an immersive demonstration for a first of its kind 5G Trial Zone, showcasing ultra low latency and high bandwidth capabilities with the transfer of art restoration skills through new technologies at its core.
A remote robotics implementation running over a live 5G network, enabling experts to perform ultra-precise tasks from across the globe when equipped with the sense of touch and fully immersive vision. We brought together haptic devices, robotic arms and 360º live streaming to deliver synchronised remote presences, and enable students to follow and feel these procedures in real-time.
The full potential of new kinds of communication enabled by 5G will define the technologies of tomorrow.
5G has the possibility to digitise and enhance remote learning, so with technology as a universal means of communicating, we turned our focus to an artistic vertical to curate an immersive experience for the State Hermitage Museum.
Drawing on our own knowledge and expertise of Art Theory and Restoration, we began with internal workshops and brainstorms to designed a series of immersive experiences merging robotics and haptics, virtual reality and augmented reality, ahead of finalising our vision for this 5G use case.
With art restoration at the heart of the demonstration, we designed an environment where the robot could be manipulated with a high degree of accuracy and control through real-time connectivity, a complex communication between robotic and haptic devices. Equipped with custom build sensor systems and 3D printed components, this implementation enables the remote art restorer to have the sense of touch, an element which is crucial with precise, small movements of a robot interacting with fragile artworks.
The precision and technique required when using a force-feedback haptic device to manipulate a remote-controlled robotic arm was something remote students were able to observe and feel with their own dedicated devices. The full immersion of the live 360º 4K video stream transmitted to virtual reality headsets and the direct mirroring of separate haptic devices enabled remote presence for both the art master and the students.
With partners Rostelecom and Ericsson, the 5G Trial Zone looks to the innovations that will drive the connectivity requirements of 5G networks. With speed & reliability at the core of network capability, our implementation enabled an art master to control a remote robotic arm and restore a sculpture, all the while showing students cutting edge precision and technique in full 360º immersion.
"It’s critical to test technology in the cultural sector, understand the human impact, and make sure it fits the unique needs of museums like ours.”
Mikhail Piotrovski, director of the Hermitage Museum
5G will not only be a next generation network, but the catalyst and enabler of innovation that will impact multiple industry verticals. As technology, industry and society begin to merge, it becomes clear that we need to rethink what it means to communicate.
To understand how something as niche as a robotic arm permitting art restoration could be a viable means of performing remote tasks in the future, we must emphasise that 5G is still in its early stages. It will only enable greater and more complex things if immersive communication evolves with it.
In parallel to building the connectivity of tomorrow, it is crucial for this to be informing the development of the services and technologies of the future: the real value in innovation stems from the stakeholders who are driving it.