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SK Telecom, Omron Electronics Develop 5G Robot to Fight COVID-19

Image courtesy of SK Telecom

South Korea’s largest telecommunications operator SK Telecom, together with Omron Electronics Korea, has developed a 5G-powered autonomous robot to fight COVID-19.

Featuring technologies such as 5G, AI, autonomous driving and IoT, the robot carries out diverse activities such as contactless temperature screenings for visitors and disinfection of buildings.

Upon detecting visitors, the robot automatically moves towards them to check their body temperatures using a thermal imaging camera. When the measured temperature is 37.5°C (99.5°F) or higher, it sets off an alarm and alerts the control center. Based on this data transmitted over 5G network in real time, SK Telecom will be able to take necessary measures like prohibiting people with suspicious symptoms from entering a building.

In addition, equipped with UV lamps and two automatic floor disinfectant sprayers, the robot automatically disinfects the building.

Applied with SK Telecom’s self-developed AI-based video analysis solution, the 5G robot will also able to identify places where people are gathered and then move to the location to play a message stressing the importance of social distancing. It will also identify people who are not wearing face masks and request them to wear one.

Moreover, SK Telecom will ensure greater efficiency in both operation and management of the robot through the application of its big data analytics solution Metatron. Metatron will analyze the robot’s component management data collected via IoT sensors to check the real-time status of the robot and perform predictive maintenance.

SK Telecom and Omron Electronics Korea plan to deploy the 5G-powered robot at their headquarters first and will officially launch the device in Korea this year and in global markets during 2021.

“SK Telecom is seeking ways to help relieve the unprecedented situation brought by the coronavirus,” said Choi Nag-hun, VP and head of the industrial data business unit of SK Telecom. “We will continue to introduce diverse services fit for the non-face-to-face era by leveraging our ICT including 5G and AI.”

“The 5G autonomous robot is an innovative case where cutting-edge technologies have been applied to overcome the crisis caused by the coronavirus,” said Kim Young-ho, president of Omron Electronics Korea.

SK Telecom ended the first quarter of the year with a total of 2.65 million subscribers in the 5G segment. At the end of last year, the telco had a total of 2.22 subscribers using its 5G service.

The company said it plans to introduce differentiated 5G specialized services, including cloud games and augmented/virtual services, and strengthen its marketing activities centered on “5G Clusters”, where customers can experience 5G services.

SK Telecom said it will bring the total number of its 5G clusters to 240 during 2020 and expand 5G coverage to certain districts in 85 cities nationwide.


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