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Robotic Technology Assisting Singapore During Pandemic


Singapore’s National Robotics Programme has been dedicated to developing and deploying robots across multiple industry sectors. In the built environment sector, for instance, robots not only improve efficiency, but also free employees from repetitive manual or even potentially dangerous tasks.

As one of Asia Pacific’s top innovation hubs, Singapore has always embraced the use of robotic technology. According to the Infocomm Media Development Authority, as of 2019, Singapore has 658 industrial robots per 10,000 workers. This is the second highest robot density in the world, trailing only South Korea.

Infocomm Media Development Authority have highlighted some of the functioning robots that can be found working throughout Singapore.

Safe distancing robot O-R3 at Bedok and Pandan Reservoir

The O-R3 can be found at Bedok and Pandan Reservoir, it is a white robot car driving down the pedestrian paths and broadcasting safe distancing messages in four languages. The O-R3 has been serving as a ‘safe distancing ambassador’ since April.

“It was developed by by Singapore robotics manufacture Otsaw. O-R3 was originally part of a pilot trial by national water agency Public Utilities Board (PUB) last year, meant to enhance monitoring and surveillance operations at its plants and reservoirs. After the onset of COVID-19, the robot was then redeployed to patrol the reservoir and broadcast safe distancing reminders.”

With the country easing its circuit breaker measures, 17 August was actually O-R3’s last day of “work” as a safe distancing ambassador.

Sunburst UV bot at Northpoint City

The Sunburst UV robot’s rays can kill microorganisms like the coronavirus. While many establishments are using disinfectant wipes or sprays to sterilise surfaces, Frasers Property Retail is using a robot equipped with ultraviolet-C light at Northpoint City mall.

“The Sunburst UV robot, developed by PBA Robotics, blasts UVC to rid the mall of the coronavirus. UVC has the shortest wavelength and highest energy of the three types of UV (A, B, and C), making it capable of damaging the DNA of disease-causing microorganisms. To minimise potential harm to humans, however, the robot currently only operates after mall hours and shuts down automatically when it detects a person nearby.”

RAVE – Rapid Automated Volume Enhancer’s quick coronavirus testing

“Singapore has one of the highest COVID-19 testing rates in the world at 49,000 tests per million people, but it continues to find innovative ways to increase its testing capacity for the coronavirus. One such innovation is RAVE, or Rapid Automated Volume Enhancer, which was designed to automate the manual steps required in processing samples for testing in the laboratory, such as uncapping tubes and pipetting.”

This robotics lab system, developed by the Agency of Science, Technology and Research -A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology -SIMTech and Diagnostics Development – DxD Hub, complements RESOLUTE 2.0, a newly developed COVID-19 testing kit that halves the delivery time of a conventional polymerase chain reaction test.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based medical technology company Advanced MedTech will distribute the RAVE system and RESOLUTE 2.0 tests to boost the COVID-19 testing capacities of local healthcare facilities.




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