In a first for Canada, two remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) flights, both operated by utilizing a 5G network, took place at the University of British Columbia (UBC) this April, 2021. 

This groundbreaking event demonstrated potential future applications of 5G-enabled autonomous flights in Canada and around the world.

The two UAVs, both manufactured and operated by InDro Robotics, were standard quad models that were integrated with a 5G signal transmitter receiver. The RPAS units used Roger’s 5G network at UBC to perform various tasks and test flights. 

The 5G network was installed by Rogers as part of a three-year, multi-million dollar partnership with UBC to build a real-world 5G Hub on the university’s campus that will be the blueprint for 5G innovation and research in Canada.

Drones are usually known to communicate using standard radio frequencies. By replacing the standard radio frequency with the 5G network, InDro Robotics’ provides more capabilities to operate and share videos and data to multiple users anywhere on the network at a faster rate.

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Throughout the duration of the test flights, the drones completed tasks such as picking up and dropping off a box at a designated location, which contained first-aid medical supplies. 

InDro Robotics President and CEO, Philip Reece, said that the ability to fly only using a 5G network opens up more opportunities for new uses for drone UAV technology, such as navigating potential disasters and supporting essential services, who can now share data to multiple users while controlling the UAVs from off-site command centres.

Two greatly anticipated technologies that have developed over the past years are commercial drones and 5G networks, on their own each have an amazing impact on many industries, but together they do so much more. We now have drones flying over public and private 5G networks that can collect and send data into the cloud for A.I. processing and back to offsite command centers with near zero latency. This enables drones to operate smarter and safer, sharing critical data with those that need it instantly, keeping first responders out of harm’s way, allowing engineers to inspect infrastructure faster and more efficiently, keeping airspace safe, and so much more.” said Reece.

We are proud to be leading the industry in Drones over cellular networks in North America.”