Taru Hakanen, Research Team Leader, VTT & Marko Lepola, Head of Industry 4.0, Telia Finland Oy
Jan 18, 2024

Taking multi-purpose 5G robots to industrial metaverse!

Transforming SPOT robot into multi-purpose and enabling 5G data transfer

MURO project has been tackling one of the most central challenges in the service robotic markets: to increase utilization rate and profitability of service robotics. Therefore, we have developed multi-purpose service robots. Telia and VTT upgraded four legged SPOT robot to become multi-purpose with 3D LiDAR scanning, telepresence (360﮿ camera), thermal imaging, and gas detection capabilities. This new, intelligent Frans 5G robot (Figure 1) serves industrial companies in enhancing situational awareness, safety and getting up-to-date digital twins in order to visualize work progress on site. For instance, construction and maintenance manager can see remotely what Frans sees through 360 camera. 5G enables fast data transfer to Telia Onsite system.

Please find out more about the use cases and demonstrations in process industry, on a construction site, and in a mine: https://youtu.be/R8MTrcODD7Q

Figure 1. Multi-purpose 5G Frans robot with enhanced sensing capabilities.

Autonomously created digital twins and remote multiuser interaction

Recently, Telia and VTT have started working together showing a path towards autonomous metaverse solutions. This road leads to discovering relevant and beneficial applications for industrial companies. To clarify our perspective, by metaverse, we do not mean merely XR and wearing VR glasses 24/7- no way! Our perspective includes a variety of technologies: mobile networks and connectivity, autonomous mobile robots, AR/VR etc. We also think about it as a wider phenomenon including user, sustainability, management, and business aspects. We concentrate on B2B solutions and making industrial work motivating, efficient, and safe.

The future of autonomous metaverse solution incorporates autonomous SPOT robot, Trimble X7 LiDAR scanner, 360﮿ camera, 5G connectivity, Unity VR environment, and efficient data processing (Figure 2). The solution will enable autonomous, up-to-date digital twin creation for e.g. safety and industrial maintenance in factories and buildings. It shows and automatically brings robot’s notions of its inspection and surveillance rounds to the 3D model. Benefits of the solution will accrue from being able to remotely view and work in the same metaverse. People from different locations can view information that is relevant for their work, hear environment audio from the site and add own notions into the model. Different devices and user interfaces are available varying from VR glasses to PC and tablet.

See the results we achieved together with Telia:
Industrial metaverse through the eyes of a robot (youtube.com)

Figure 2. SPOT robot scanning autonomously with Trimble X7 in Valmet Automotive Innovation Center.


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