Beds joins £6m 5G research & innovation project

Fri 09 July, 2021
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The University of Bedfordshire has joined a new 5G research and innovation project, funded by the EU, that will conduct studies into enhanced robot autonomy.

The three-year project – titled '5G-ERA' (5G Enhanced Robot Autonomy) – aims to improve the autonomy of robots through the use of 5G wireless technology. The £6million venture has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and is made up of institutions across seven countries. The funding will last until the end of 2023.

Robotics are used in many facets of modern life and the 5G-ERA robotproject strives to advance their capabilities in four areas: public protection and disaster relief (PPDR), transport, healthcare and manufacturing.

This will be achieved through the creation of a 5G experimentation facility to further research into how robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing can work together for positive, applicable outcomes.

The University of Bedfordshire’s involvement will centre on using 5G to improve collective robotic intelligence – the shifting of AI away from individual robots to a shared, cloud-based knowledge exchange.

Carried out by the University’s Centre for Robotics and Smart Information System Studies (RSS), based within the Institute for Research in Applicable Computing (IRAC), the project will pull together contributions from research staff, academics and PhD students.

Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Bedfordshire, Dr Renxi Qiu – who is Scientific Coordinator on the project – commented:

“We are very pleased that our research is acknowledged by the European commission and supported by research partners from the UK and on the continent. We believe this project will also Robot in factorycontribute to and enhance our curriculum development in the School of Computer Science and Technology.

“The 5G-ERA project and our previous similar projects provide a good opportunity for us at the University of Bedfordshire to work with other experts in the area of autonomous robots and 5G across Europe.”

5G-ERA is not the first project of this type that IRAC has worked on. The Institute has a track record of studying robot autonomy, reaching back to a previous EU research project in 2009.

For information about research opportunities with the University’s Institute for Research in Applicable Computing, visit the IRAC homepage.

Further details about courses within the School of Computer Science and Technology can be found at:


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