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Nokia to set up robotics lab at Indian Institute of Science for research on socially relevant use cases based on 5G and emerging technologies

  • Nokia Center of Excellence for Networked Robotics to host an inter-disciplinary laboratory that will research technology solutions enabling socially relevant use cases across emergency management, agriculture and industrial automation
  • Lab will foster engagement between ecosystem partners and start-up community in developing end-to-end use cases
  • Nokia student fellowships to be granted to select students that participate in the development of innovative use cases

04 August 2020

New Delhi, India – Nokia has announced a collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the country’s leading institute and university for research and higher education in science and engineering, to establish the Nokia Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Networked Robotics. The CoE will promote inter-disciplinary research involving robotics, advanced communication technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop socially relevant use cases across areas like emergency management, agriculture and industrial automation. The centre will promote engagement and cooperation between academia, start-ups and industry ecosystem partners in research and development of use cases. This centre supports and aligns with the Government initiatives of ‘Start-up India’.

The Nokia CoE, a state-of-the-art network robotics laboratory, will be available to the IISc community and its ecosystem partners for advanced research projects involving designing next-generation networks and applications of Artificial Intelligence for solving pertinent social problems. Nokia will share its expertise in next-generation network innovations and leverage Nokia Bell Labs’ technical expertise in robot orchestration, robot network controller and human-robot interaction to aid the research and development of the end-to-end use case technology solutions. IISc will engage its cross-disciplinary faculty and researchers, and provide its in-house expertise in algorithms, drones and robotic systems.

Some of the use cases which the collaboration will explore include:

  • Using drones for remote management of agricultural orchards to promote water conservation and avoid human contact with pesticide.
  • Drones using a 5G-enabled wide-area network to gather situational information, helping first responders to save lives by quickly accessing the affected areas during disaster relief.
  • Drones for applications such as anticipating crop fires.  

The collaboration will help IISc in capacity building and human resources development in cutting-edge technology of robotics, 5G and autonomous systems. The research will also contribute to standards development and inform research.

The Nokia CoE at IISc will facilitate close interaction with all the stakeholders of the ecosystem for the exchange of ideas and symbiotic development of end-to-end use cases. It will also host symposia for academia and industry, and organize hackathons for startups.

Professor G Rangarajan, Director, IISc, said: “The ultimate relevance of technology is to find solutions to improve the quality of our lives. Collaboration with a global technology leader, Nokia, will go a long way in helping our students to gain knowledge and insights and make significant contributions to the development of innovative and societally relevant 5G use cases. This is a critical initiative and it will help us move closer to finding technology-powered solutions to enrich our lives.”

Sanjay Malik, Senior Vice President and Head of India Market, Nokia, said: “Emerging technologies such as the 5G have potential to enable an entirely new array of use cases with a profound societal impact. With Nokia’s rich innovation heritage, we aim to engage with the bright and young minds at IISc to nurture and advance the latest technologies that can benefit communities. We are confident that it will lead to the development of groundbreaking use cases.”


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