First Asian Robotics Week in Singapore

The first Robotics showcase that brings industry partners together onto the same platform to advance robotics innovation and adoption for Singapore businesses


On 12 November 2015, the Singapore Industrial Automation Association (SIAA) and Fireworks Trade Media Pte Ltd together with the support from the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), will be organising the first Asian Robotics Week 2015 (ARW 2015) at Marina Bay Sands. It is an expansion of SIAA and e2i’s concerted efforts to connect business operators to innovators who have invented robotic applications that can be applied across different industries.

Companies in Singapore, especially those in the service-related sectors are constantly challenged by increasing global competition. Internally, they also face comparatively low productivity growth and shortage of skilled workers. They are in need of immediate solutions that will ensure business sustainability and quality jobs for all workers.

Faced with similar manpower issues; an aging workforce and slow growth rate , Japan and Korea have shown how adoption of robotics-technology can reduce a company’s dependency on manpower to run the business. With a widespread acceptance of such technology, they have demonstrated how to implement a cohesive worker – robot work environment too. These success stories, have demonstrated how robotics solutions can similarly adapted into Singapore for companies who are facing the same challenges.

To ensure the successful incorporation of robotic solutions into the business, it is essential for the Singapore workforce to up-skill to manage these robotic solutions and perform higher-value jobs. When both the machine capabilities (in terms of strength, speed and precision) and human’s flexibility; creativity and reasoning work together to deliver high quality products/services, it will certainly enhance the labour productivity and operational efficiency. This complements the government’s effort in driving productivity with the underlying intent of up-skilling the local workforce. When we raise the value of the job by introducing robotics-based technology and raise the skills of the workers to do the job well, we in turn are creating better lives for the workers.

To provide awareness of available robotic solutions, the ARW 2015 international exhibition brings together foreign human-centric, professional service and industrial robotics technology companies to a single location. The evolution of social and professional service robots has been developing at an unprecedented rate in developed countries. To help more Singaporean businesses, especially in the service-related sectors jump on the bandwagon, this exhibition will feature robotics solutions from Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States of America, which can be adapted for the local business landscape and operations.

At the ARW 2015, companies and employers who are apprehensive about having to persuade and help their workers’ adjust their mindset towards embracing and managing the new technology, will be pleased to know that e2i along with industry partners will be developing several upcoming Master Classes to address these concerns:-

  • Embracing New Technology in the Workplace
  • Robot Application and Usability Master Class
  • Basic Robot Programming Master Class

Mr Oliver Tian, President of SIAA said, “Today, robotics is not only about the ‘mechanical arm’ residing in the factory. With the convergence of technologies, robotics is an evolutionary approach that can be applied in non-industrial domains such as Healthcare, Education, and the services industry. There are significant innovations which are transforming into commercially viable solutions in different parts of the world and a service robot industry is definitely in the making. Hence, businesses need to see these innovations, learn new adoptions of robotics and take the bold step to leverage on technology to stay successful.”

Mr Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer of e2i said, “One way for SMEs to respond to the current tight labour situation would be to tap on available service-technology to help make jobs productive, easier, and safer. By doing so, the job scopes can be re-designed to eliminate tedious and mundane tasks, and to allow workers to take on more meaningful higher-value tasks. e2i remains committed in supporting SME businesses towards easy adoption of robotics and innovative solutions, and at the same time assists workers in up-skilling to manage or work alongside these new technologies.”

The event was graced by Secretary-General of NTUC, Mr Chan Chun Sing. One event highlight is a 1-day symposium featuring several renowned international industry experts which will focus on connecting the idea of how professional service robots can help businesses achieve greater excellence. There is also an exhibition showcase which features 23 booths with companies offering solutions that can be adopted in the Medical, Logistics, Retail and F&B industries. The event is expected to attract 750 trade participants from the various service industries. For more information, details can be found http://asianroboticsweek.com.

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