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NEC, KDDI and Obayashi Collaborate on Remote Construction Technology
May 18, 2017
Remote construction trials will soon begin in Japan with NEC Corporation taking the lead, and in cooperation with KDDI Corporation and Obayashi Corporation. The aim of the effort is to achieve smart civil engineering utilizing 5G, the next-generation wireless communication standard.
The trial aims to verify the improved workability and quality of remote construction by applying the large-capacity, low-latency communication featured in 5G to construction machinery, thereby enabling the transmission of high-definition video that is difficult to achieve with existing mobile communications.
The companies will undertake verification by combining 5G wireless infrastructure with an existing remote control system for construction machinery. In the experiment, video taken by multiple units of high-definition 4K cameras mounted in construction machinery will be transmitted to the remote controller via 5G wireless infrastructure utilizing beamforming through a multi-element antenna supporting the 28GHz band.
Unlike existing LTE and Wi-Fi networks, 5G wireless infrastructure is capable of high-speed transmission of large-capacity, high-definition video with low-latency. This allows workers to conveniently gain an accurate impression of a situation using high-definition video sent from remotely located construction machinery. Moreover, the three companies will also verify advances in construction quality and efficiency through improved remote control workability, such as real-time changes in the position and direction of construction machinery.
"We expect that 5G will play an essential role in developing a better society through collaboration with a variety of industries and that 5G will contribute to improvement of the quality of construction and civil engineering," said Akira Matsunaga, Senior Director, Mobile Network Technical Development, KDDI Corporation. "We sincerely wish that the trial this time will verify the advantages of 5G in the application of construction engineering and that we can move forward towards the realization of a better society."
"The introduction of robotics to the construction field, including remote-control capabilities, is making substantial progress," said Hideo Katsumata, Executive Officer / General Manager, Technical Research Institute, Obayashi Corporation. "We believe that the 5G communication technology opens the possibility of greatly advancing the operation of construction robots. Going forward, we will continue to promote research and development in 5G-enabled, remotely controlled robots that can be utilized for a wide range of construction purposes."
"NEC is very pleased to participate in this trial with KDDI and Obayashi in order to achieve smart civil engineering utilizing 5G," said Tomonori Kumagai, General Manager, Business Development Division, NEC Corporation. "The multi-element antenna system and its control technology, which are currently undergoing research and development at NEC, are essential for implementing large-capacity, low-latency 5G. Going forward, we will continue to promote research and development in support of future commercial services."