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Drones and the Future of the Industrial Metaverse | Keynote by Thierry Klein

As the opening keynote for the 2022 Open Generation 5G Summit, Thierry Klein goes into detail about the future of the industrial metaverse, explaining what he believes are the three key elements of a successful digital/physical integration and how drones flying over 5G are a critical use case.

The Control Loop

There are two fundamental components of the industrial metaverse, the successful fusion of the physical with the digital world, and human augmentation. We must not only create digital replications of physical environments but enhance systems that are interactive and responsive, allowing adjustments to the physical through the digital and vice versa.

According to Klein, the path to this future will hinge on the synchronicity of these three elements of the control loop:

  • Sense: Capture data in the physical world
  • Understand: Transmit data to the digital world and glean insight
  • Act: Improve processes and carry adjustments back to the physical world

UAS Through the Loop

Drones are uniquely capable as a use case for industrial automation. As a mobile sensor platform, they can create digital twins of the physical world (sense), can create a fast digital copy of the environment (understand), and serve as an actuation platform with the potential for robotic capabilities (act).

As fundamentally mobile devices, the necessity for a very strong, high-performing network is clear to envision a fast, dynamic performing control loop driven by drone use. A future with drone-led industrial automation must be paved with ultra-low latency, a capability possible through innovation in 5G and beyond.

A Use Case Worth Watching

To close out his keynote, Klein shows footage of an innovative partnership between Nokia Bell Labs and AeroFarms, displaying how a vertical farming apparatus can be positively impacted using drones flying over 5G. Through this footage, we can see the importance of the work Open Generation is doing with use case innovation in 5G.


Laurie Giandomenico, Chief Acceleration Officer, MITRE and Managing Director, MITRE Engenuity

Thierry Klein, President, Bell Labs Solutions Research, Nokia Bell Labs