Volvo CE tests world’s first high-lift tele-operation over 5G

Staff Report,

17 Nov 2021

Company successfully trials a remote-controlled wheel loader over a 5G network in a complex forestry application

Volvo CE has tested the world’s first high-lift wheeled loader operation over 5G with its unique research project Remote Timber, a collaboration between Volvo CE and the telecom operator Telia, timber and paper manufacturer SCA, Mid University Sweden, Skogforsk and Biometria.

The tests at SCA's timber terminal in Torsboda, Sweden, have demonstrated that it is possible to tele-operate a Volvo L180 high-lift wheeled loader from hundreds of kilometres away. And by using a closed 5G network, low latency has proven to be a major advantage – allowing operators to perform the sensitive process of picking, loading and organising logs remotely.

Christian Spjutare, advanced engineering program manager at Volvo CE, said: “We expect tele-operation to open up far greater opportunities for operators than is currently available. Sometimes it can be difficult to hire people in timber terminals because of their remote locations. But tele-operation allows people to work from any location, no matter the distance, making it a more desirable work setting, with the added advantage of more efficient and sustainable work logistics.”

Magnus Leonhardt, director, head of business development & innovation at Telia, added: “This partnership is a fine example of how remote control with the latest technology can contribute to more efficient and sustainable construction solutions in the forestry industry. A secure and robust digital infrastructure is crucial for this. The unique technical qualities that 5G offers are also entirely critical, in which extremely quick response times and high capacity enable immediate feedback between operator and machine, which is a prerequisite for being able to safely control machines remotely.”

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