Optus, Curtin University Open 5G lab to Drive Innovation

The future became a reality during the launch of Western Australia’s first industry-university 5G lab, with Optus and Curtin University showcasing some of the possibilities that 5G technology will offer.

A number of industry and education stakeholders, alongside the Hon Don Punch MLA, Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Innovation and ICT, visited the Curtin University campus in Perth to test 5G technologies, some of which are available now and others that are right around the corner.

5G Innovations

Demonstrations of technology showcasing the fast speeds and low latency of the Optus 5G network included 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.

Underpinned by the Optus 5G network, the new space will accelerate 5G innovation and connect staff, students and industry to the cutting-edge technology.

The unique 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 our world and improve the quality of life and work in society.

Optus Enterprise Vice President of Product Innovation, Deon Liebenberg, said this provides a critical testbed to conceptualise new 5G applications that will make a substantial contribution to the Australian economy and industry at large.

“Optus are committed to evolving our service and opening new worlds of connectivity and options that our customers love. 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 the University is delighted to be able to offer students and researchers such a ground breaking space for learning and working.

“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,” Professor Hayne said.

“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 Hon Don Punch MLA, Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Innovation and ICT, said the opening of the 5G playground will create an atmosphere of innovation for future-shaping projects, and inspire and educate businesses across WA and Australia.

“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.”

Technology showcased at the 5G Lab launch:

Baxter robot remote interaction

A demonstration of the potential to use 5G connectivity to deliver remote robot interaction and operation. Achieved through retrofitting of an existing two-arm android-like robot, showing that 5G can enhance existing equipment capabilities as well as provide new opportunities for equipment development.

Remote training of Guide Dogs

This project aims to remotely train vision impaired people in use of guide dogs. Multiple IOT sensors, microphones and cameras will be placed on the guide dog harness and 5G technologies and the bandwidth provided by 5G will be utilized 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

This project aims to develop a mobile subdural EEG recording device to monitor the brain of a patient for epileptic events. 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

Our new visual and immersive platform that is adaptable to individual needs 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

Demonstration of the use of 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. Talk to our AWS Solution Architect about your own use cases for image and video analysis with AWS using the broadest and deepest set of machine learning services and supporting cloud infrastructure.

Spatial – Virtual Meeting and Collaboration via 5G

An interactive demonstration of utilising the 5G network to provide a real-time connection to a virtual meeting space. The demo will allow 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.