Wednesday, 19 May 2021 17:53

Optus, Curtin Uni launch 5G lab; demonstrate use cases

Optus, Curtin Uni launch 5G lab; demonstrate use cases Pixabay

Western Australia's first industry-university 5G laboratory has opened, with telco Singtel Optus and Curtin University showcasing some 5G uses.

A statement from Optus said WA Minister for Disability Services, Fisheries, Innovation and ICT Don Punch was among those who visited the university's campus in Perth to test out the 5G technologies.

There were demonstrations showcasing the speeds and low latency of the Optus 5G network, including the potential to use 5G connectivity to deliver remote robot interaction and operation; remote training of vision impaired people in the use of guide dogs; remote monitoring of brain activity for epileptic events through subdural EEG recordings; and a new visual immersive platform for remote learning.

The new space aims to accelerate 5G innovation and connect staff, students and industry.

The lab is co-funded by Optus and Curtin and provides students and faculty with an on-campus space to explore how 5G technology can reshape the world and improve the quality of life and work in society.

Optus Enterprise vice-president of Product Innovation, Deon Liebenberg, said: “Optus is committed to evolving our service and opening new worlds of connectivity and options that our customers love.

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Optus State Director Paul Williams, WA Innovation Minister Don Punch, Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne and Optus vice-president Product Innovation Deon Liebenberg. Source Singtel Optus

"The opening of this 5G lab is the latest example of how Optus is raising the bar on innovation through our world class network and delivering advanced outcomes for our customers.

“Our collaboration with Curtin University will facilitate industry-leading research that has potential world-changing impacts and could transform the Australian economy through creating hyper-connected spaces of the future and new technological innovations across a range of industries.”

Curtin vice-chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said: “This 5G lab will enable Curtin to deliver high-impact and innovative digital learning and research opportunities particularly through the use of integrated technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

“Importantly, it will also help us harness the power of these next generation capabilities to deliver enhanced teaching and learning experiences for our remote and regional students.

“This new smart campus is just another way Curtin is delivering on its mission to promote, develop and support innovation and industry-facing researchers and graduates.”

The following technologies were showcased at the launch:

Baxter robot remote interaction: Achieved through retrofitting an existing two-arm android-like robot, showing that 5G can enhance existing equipment capabilities as well as provide new opportunities for equipment development.

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Demonstration of a 5G remote EEG project. Source: Curtin University

Remote training of guide dogs: Multiple IoT sensors, microphones and cameras are placed on the guide dog harness and 5G technologies and the bandwidth provided by 5G is used to transmit the telemetry, vocal and video data from operational site to the base station to be displayed on a VR headset.

Remote monitoring of brain activity through subdural EEG recordings: 5G mobile communication from the EEG device will enable the dense EEG signals to be transmitted and processed at the edge of the network to deliver real-time responses for the clinician.

Visual Immersive platform for remote learning assisted by 5G: This new visual and immersive platform is adaptable to individual needs and will enable the most remote person to engage with quality learning. VIT∞L illustrates this in the area of pharmacology.

Demonstrating this platform is EYE HEAR YOUR RHYTHM which enables visualisation of effects of light as well as drugs administered directly to the eye via drops or intravenously in the arm.

Students can observe the effects on the pupil size and parameters related to the heart. Individual variability within people is included in the readings to give a more realistic representation of real life situations.

This model enables the understanding of wanted and unwanted effects, and how each type of drug works differently with the added understanding of locally administered versus systemically administered medications.

Worker Safety and PPE Detection with AWS: This uses AWS DeepLens and Amazon Rekognition to identify if a person at a construction site is wearing the right safety gear, in this case, a hard hat.

Spatial – Virtual Meeting and Collaboration via 5G: This allows visitors to communicate in a virtual meeting across the country via 5G and share a discussion on what they hope this new mobile frontier will facilitate in the future.

Punch said: "The opening of the Optus and Curtin 5G lab is a major step in cementing WA as a leader in innovative technology with life-changing impacts.

"5G can potentially transform industries across the country, including mining, oil, gas, agriculture and health, by powering new technologies and jobs for the future.

“5G also has the capability to transform education and support new academic applications, including artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual and augmented reality.

"As Australia responds to shifting global economic challenges, new technologies like 5G will make a substantial contribution to the Australian industry and help expand entrepreneurial activity by creating more diversified and resilient economy.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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