5G future on display with robots, AI at China tech fair

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 26 2019 12:13 PM

A man browses his mobile phone screen in front of a signage at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China on June 26, 2019. Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News 

SHANGHAI -- The near future where robots take charge of mundane tasks like grocery shopping to helping doctors save lives was on display in this Chinese financial hub on Wednesday, all powered by the upcoming 5G standard that promises to transform the way people interact with technology.

This year's Mobile World Congress was a display of practical applications of 5G, which Chinese tech titans are selling to the world, despite opposition from the US.

The biggest exhibitors include Huawei, the world’s largest manufacturer of telecom infrastructure and number two smartphone maker that was blacklisted by Washington, compatriots Vivo and Oppo, chipmaker Qualcomm and carriers China Telecom and China Unicom.

A giant Huawei both is shown against 5G signage at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China on June 26, 2019. Joel Guinto ABS-CBN News

Compared to 4G or LTE, 5G promises faster data transfers and at larger volumes at a time. In the home, it can help power smart devices such as virtual assistants housed in speakers and ultra high definition television and gaming.

It can be used by autonomous vehicles to carry both people and cargo, automating both transportation and logistics.

Big data can harness 5G speeds to aid doctors in diagnosis and treatment. Another application allows users to pay for their groceries without passing through the check out counter since the computing is done on the cloud.

A medical assistant robot powered by 5G is on display at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China on June 26, 2019. Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News
Medical equipment powered by 5G are on display at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China on June 26, 2019. Joel Guinto,ABS-CBN News
A 5G-powered grocery checkout is simulated at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China on June 26, 2019. Joel Guinto ABS-CBN News

One 5G-powered robot was controlled using a glove with sensors, reminiscent of the big robot cartoon "Daimos" that was popular in the 1980s.

Another robot, its body shaped like that of a woman, interacted with visitors as it danced.

A 5G-powered robot is on display at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China on June 26, 2019. Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News
A 5G-powered robot is on display at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China on June 26, 2019. Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News