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TWI joined a consortium of 13 project partners to form the 5G-ERA consortium.

Having begun in January 2021, the three-year 5G-ERA project is supported by the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP), which is a joint initiative between the European Commission and European ICT industry (ICT manufacturers, telecommunications operators, service providers, SMEs and research institutions). 5G-ERA is focused on a user-centric paradigm of integrating vertical knowledge into the existing standardised 5G testing framework to improve quality of experience (QoE).

5G-ERA aims to take advantage of the improved 5G connectivity to provide an enhanced 5G experimentation facility and the relevant network applications for third party application developers to test and qualify their applications. These applications will focus on robotic autonomy, which is essential for many 5G vertical sectors and can deliver multiple benefits in automated mobility, Industry 4.0 and healthcare.

Use Case

The use case being explored by 5G-ERA include:

  • A 5G-based remote assistant NetApp during brazing processes: This will collate data from sensors in the production cell to enable automation and digitisation of the process for the manufacture of safety-critical components using a robot to replace some manual operations within the process control. A field trial will be conducted at TWI to test the system, including brazing robot operation, edge operation planning services, a central cloud service, a learning service, smart environment service, an intervention service in case of problems, and a security management identity service.


The project will integrate vertical knowledge into the existing standardised 5G testing framework to improve QoE, with the following objectives:

  1. An intent-based networking paradigm for optimised QoE to support enhanced robot autonomy in real-world applications
  2. 5G-ERA middleware, enabling cloud native resource provision over autonomous robots
  3. Standardised APIs by integrating ROS with OSM
  4. Showcase enhanced QoE on experimental facilities for vertical applications

This work will:

  • Integrate operational processes of essential autonomous robotic capabilities into open source MANO (OSM), ensuring the vertical specific adaptation of existing experimentation facilities
  • Realise an intent-based networking paradigm by aligning the end-to-end (E2E) resource optimisation with the autonomous operations, ensuring effective policy to be designed
  • Create cloud native network services (NSs) on the experimental facilities will ensure robotic applications exploit NFV/SDN infrastructures efficiently
  • Extend the experimentation facilities into robotic domains thorough standard APIs under robot operating system (ROS), prompting third-party experimentation activities as well as engagement from new players