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Experts share advances in robotics and smart devices

15 August 2012

Prof Chan at the plenary address

How can we build rapport between people and machines? What kind of research and development do we need to further our knowledge of robotics? These were some of the topics discussed during a workshop organised by the NUS Faculty of Engineering and the Global Agenda Council on Robotics and Smart Devices, World Economic Forum on 13 August.

Delivering the plenary address, Engineering Dean Professor Chan Eng Soon said that as Singapore seeks to increase its productivity and decrease its dependence on foreign labour, robotics can help enhance competitiveness.

Robotics has already been used in various fields such as in diagnostics, microsurgeries and offshore oil and gas technology. Sharing about the applications of robotics were Associate Professor Davide Lomanto, Director of the Minimal Invasive Surgical Centre at the National University Hospital and Director of the Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat Advanced Surgery Training Centre, NUS; and Associate Professor Marcelo Ang Jr from the NUS Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The experts also discussed about the interaction of robots and human users, the possibility of robots living in the third dimension as well as the security of robotics and smart devices.

At NUS, researchers are making good progress in developing robotic systems. Projects include a brain-controlled wheelchair, aircraft canopy polishing, unmanned aerial vehicle and next-generation robots for neuro-rehabilitation. The work has been recognised at competitions such as the Federation of International Robot-soccer Association World Cup and Robocup.