For RoboValley innovators toiling away on collaborative robot systems, here’s a promising step forward.

The Do IoT Fieldlab (Delft on Internet of Things) has received European funding to build ultra-modern communications infrastructure on two test sites: The Green Village and Unmanned Valley. It is also going to build a mobile installation; essentially a flight case with a 5G antenna and interface for connecting your robot applications to a super-fast, secure private network wherever you are.

“Speed of communication is very useful for robots working in dynamic environments, such as horticulture, retail or flexible manufacturing,” says Jaimy Siebel, managing director of RoboValley. “When robots can talk to each other directly, without mistakes and delay, they become much better at teamwork and interaction with people.”

So what is going to happen next? The new infrastructure is expected to spark 30 new small business projects, 30 new Internet of Things (IoT) products and services, 750,000 euros worth of investment and 56 new jobs; all in the coming three years.

The coming months will be all about realising the new facilities. Our friends at the Do IoT Fieldlab are starting construction as we speak, soon after getting €1.5m in official funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

When will this be available to you, our community members? We put the question to Lenneke de Voogd, programme manager of TU Delft. She said: “The mobile installation will be ready for use at RoboHouse and partner locations in the spring of 2021.”

Spring would also be a good moment to swing by The Green Village, a ‘living lab for sustainable innovation’ on TU Delft Campus, or take your drones for a test flight at Unmanned Valley, a former naval airbase less than 30 kilometres from RoboHouse.

On 10 September, De Voogd will host a webinar about the Do IoT Fieldlab and opportunities that 5G and the Internet of Things can bring.

All this, and more, is a collaborative effort by TU Delft, TNO, The Green Village, Unmanned Valley, Mobility Innovation Center Delft, BTG, Surf, T-Mobile, Municipality of Delft. Municipality of Katwijk, Holland Rijnland, MRDH, Zuid-Holland Province, Do IoT Fieldlab and TU Delft Campus.