Ongoing collaboration between AIS 5G and PTT Group since 2018 has seen the deployment of 5G and platforms to builddigital infrastructure. This is integrated with operations in Wangchan Valley, developed by PTT as a key base for the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) .
The collaboration is working closely with ARV Co., Ltd., a Thai expert in the development and service provision of robotics and AI services, and part of PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP). They have developed a platform of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, better known as autonomous drones, for various industrial use cases. The use of drones has now been upgraded to a 5G AI Autonomous Drone System (Horrus), which is the first drone system to be developed by Thai engineers. The system is supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance its capabilities.
Most importantly, it is the first drone system to be powered by Intelligent 5G using Autonomous Network technology. The Network is managed to be agile with a system to maintain 24-hour security in the Wangchan Valley area. Wangchan Valley is equipped with the infrastructure of a Smart City, under a Regulatory & Innovation Sandbox in four areas: unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous vehicles, energy innovation, and specialized spectra. All of these factors have made Wangchan Valley a prime location for the innovations of the future. It is a transformation of drone capabilities to have a greater role in industry, and reduce the risks ofoperating in hazardous or restricted locations.
Tanapong Ittisakulchai, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at AIS commented, “AIS’ objectives are to become a Cognitive Tech-Co with the concept of an Ecosystem Economy. We generate mutual growth by working with a range of partners to support Digital Transformation invarious national industrial sectors. In particular, we are collaborating with PTT as a Strategic Partner to innovate technology for many industries. This includes investing in digital infrastructure to support innovation in the Wangchan Valley project and the EECi to be a hub for developing and trialing solutions for ongoing roll-out to real-time use cases.
The AIS engineering team has already completed infrastructure such as the Network Architecture for 5G SA (Standalone) on 2600 MHz. They are leveraging the potential of Autonomous Network technology for autonomous network management, the use of Network Slicing to support applications running on networks with different properties, as well as Multi-access EDGE Computing (MEC), the PARAGON platform to support management, and the development of solutions requiring low latency. It is a 5G Testbed that is open to Thai enterprises and industries to develop solutions for mission-critical use cases.
“This occasion is another great achievement for all involved, and highlights Thai talent in developing autonomous drone platforms, integrating AI technology and 5G capabilities for the first time, to support and cater to the use cases of the AI Autonomous Drone System (Horrus) developed by ARV. These must include a safe and stable flight path, and smart verification, alongwiththe rapid transmission of still images, sound, and video in real-time. It is confirmation of AIS’ mission to leverage the power of 5G to create new opportunities for industry, which can become a competitive edge for the country in the future.”
Dr. Thana Slanvetpan, General Manager of AI and Robotics Ventures (ARV) under PTTEP, revealed, “As a Thai leader in AI and robotics, we are focused on expertise in artificial intelligence and robotics to upgrade infrastructure and improve the lives of people at every level.
The 5G AI Autonomous Drone System (Horrus) is another use case thathas attained some measure of success and has now been rolled out to real-world applications. Wangchan Valley is well located as a venue for trials and experimentation, as there are special waivers and relaxations of regulations to facilitate scientific tests and innovation in drone technology, the UAV Regulatory Sandbox. It is also replete with super-fast 5G digital infrastructure, another key technology to develop these solutions. It is a first for Thailand to develop autonomous drone technology with AI systems at its heart and powered by intelligent wireless networks.
“5G and Network Slicing speed up data transmission and reduce latency, which is crucial when controlling a drone. The technology supports remote use with greater stability than radio signals and WiFi. This collaboration with AIS is upgrading the potential of drone technology to the next level. The drones now work autonomously along predetermined flight paths and times.
They can monitor for abnormal activity and send alerts back to the Control Center in real time. They bring greater efficiency to the management of security work and reduce the risk of operating in hazardous or restricted areas. For instance, drones can monitor work in a factory, a natural gas survey location or a natural gas processing plant of PTT Group. This collaboration connects the key mission of ARV in alignment with the overarching objective of the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) to build a New S-Curve with innovation and digital technology.”