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Test Bed 5G: companies are already testing their solutions at INESC TEC

The first pilot-projects to demonstrate 5G solutions aimed at the manufacturing industry have already started at INESC TEC Industry and Innovation Laboratory (iiLab). Companies will be able to test their solutions and develop products and services that resort to the new generation network. The pilots are part of the Test Bed 5G project, led by NOS – in partnership with Sonae MC and Wells, and with INESC TEC participation.

22nd February 2024

Test Bed 5G has €8M to support companies in the development of products and services that use 5G in vital areas of the national economy: industry, retail, healthcare, smart cities and sustainability. The project will support 165 pilots to facilitate the transformation of technology into solutions that can be commercialised.

The first demonstrations have already started, and the company Infinite Foundry is currently testing the use of cameras that communicate via the 5G. “This pilot started in late 2023; we installed the cameras at iiLab and the software on INESC TEC datacentres”, stated António Almeida.

According to the INESC TEC researcher, who acts as a Business Developer for one of the institution’s innovation areas – the Industry -, Infinite Foundry’s will test other solutions, since companies are allowed to carry out more than one pilot. “Throughout 2024, we will test the company’s digital twin solution on CLOUD environments, capable of simulating and representing, in the digital twin itself, the positioning of mobile robots in highly realistic environments”.

According to leaders of Infinite Foundry, this experience allows them to test, under real conditions, how 5G can facilitate the installation and operation of the company’s 3D digital twin technology, with emphasis on the ability to support high-speed and low-latency connections. “One of the tests involved a high-definition camera, connected through 5G, whose data was transmitted in real time to the server where the digital twin is processed. This test demonstrated the feasibility of using the 5G network to significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness in data collection, and analysis in virtualised production environments,”, they said.

“This advance opens new perspectives for the remote monitoring and management of industrial operations, allowing an accurate and up-to-date virtual representation, which is vital to a more informed decision-making and the continuous optimisation of processes”, they concluded.

Hence, iiLab will host 12 projects, facilitating and monitoring the development of a set of software and equipment pilots in a quasi-industrial context. Soon, the laboratory will welcome other tests: mobile robotics demonstrations to understand how robots can be controlled remotely through low-latency 5G communication networks; integration of vital signs sensors installed on operators; parts traceability tests on the factory floor; development of MES – Manufacturing Execution Systems; image processing for quality control, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Test Bed 5G consortium features NOS, SonaeMC, and Wells, with the participation of CEIIA, INESC TEC and Ericsson – covering six locations nationwide, in Lisbon, Porto, Maia and Matosinhos.