The Singapore robotics scene received a major boost with the government’s recent announcement of an additional S$450 million committed to the National Robotics Programme over the next three years. This package would support robotics development and deployment across healthcare, construction, manufacturing and logistics.
The government’s push for robotics is also evident from the country’s upcoming National Day Parade, where drones will wow crowds in displays that emphasise the futuristic theme of ‘Building our Singapore of Tomorrow’.
The many faces of robots
Drones present limitless possibilities, from use in urban infrastructure management and farming to the detection of oil spills, monitoring of mosquito-breeding grounds and disaster response. Other than these flying robots, robot waiters with trays in their ‘bellies’ are currently being integrated with an ordering and payment system to serve food at a multi-storeyed office building. Within the logistics sector, robots can also be found in cold rooms, cutting down on manual labour and expediting processes.
It’s clear from these examples that many organisations are exploring the innovative use of robotics across industries. However, SMEs typically have been hesitant to use such technologies due to limited budgets, the need for trained specialists and potentially longer payback periods.
All this is set to change with the Singapore government attempting to “make automation the centrepiece of economic transformation”.