To enable a new generation of robots, Qualcomm Technologies today announced the Robotics RB5 platform, comprising hardware, software and development tools.

Combining high computational processing and low power consumption, the RB5 platform extends Qualcomm’s expertise in 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) to robots and drones for industrial, commercial and high-end consumer applications.

Qualcomm’s QRB5165 processor is core to the platform. Customized for robotics applications, it has a heterogeneous architecture integrating Qualcomm’s fifth-generation AI engine with the Hexagon™ Tensor Accelerator, an image signal processor (ISP) and a dedicated computer vision engine.

The QRB5165 achieves 15 TOPS for complex AI and accurate machine learning (ML), and the ISP supports seven concurrent cameras. Using multiple cameras enables robots and drones to handle simultaneous localization and mapping, object detection and classification, autonomous navigation and path planning, whether indoors or outdoors.

To connect to wireless networks, the RB5 platform is compatible with long-range Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1 and 4G/5G, 5G connectivity includes both sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands.

For secure operation, the RB5 platform has Qualcomm’s Secure Processing Unit (SPU), which provides secure boot, cryptographic accelerators, Qualcomm’s Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) and camera security. The SPU provides security without compromising power consumption.

The RB5 platform includes a development kit to help developers customize the RB5 to the desired application. The kit is comprehensive and easy to customize, with flexible software capabilities. The platform supports Linux, Ubuntu and Robot Operating System (ROS) 2.0, as well as integrated drivers for various cameras, sensors and 5G connectivity.

Qualcomm said more than 20 companies have been working as early adopters to evaluate the RB5 and more than 30 companies are developing compatible hardware and software for specific applications.

More information about the RB5 platform is available on Qualcomm’s website.