Qualcomm launches the new RB5 platform for next-gen robotics
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There is a demonstrable demand for robots and robot-like devices (of which drones or UAVs are a prime example) in both industrial and non-industrial markets. Therefore, their OEMs may benefit from a state-of-the-art platform on which to base their upcoming models in these categories. Qualcomm is playing to this audience with the new RB5 platform, which succeeds the RB3 that may be found in some autonomous machines around today.
Its freshly-launched replacement may improve on it by way of the Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, which is a variation on the Snapdragon 865 SoC found in the highest-end smartphones in 2020. As such, it incorporates all the components a robot or drone needs to navigate the world around it while carrying out its intended tasks or use-cases.
They include digital sensor processors (DSPs) for various functions and inputs, those from audio sensors included. On that note, there is also the same Qualcomm Spectra 480 image signal processor (ISP) found in the 865 processor: some robots have as many cameras as some phones, after all.
The OEM also asserts that the RB5 platform can handle the machine learning, AI and inferencing a modern-day automaton might be expected to carry out. It does so using the AI Engine, rated for 15 TOPS of applicable performance, the OEM's Hexagon Tensor Accelerator and EnhancedVideo Analytics.
The RB5 also distinguishes itself from its predecessor in that it supports 5G. In addition, the new platform supports long-range Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and 4G/LTE. This new Qualcomm product has already been taken up by a range of partners, TDK and the 96Boards.AI initiative included, who will build it into their new and upcoming robotics projects.