New technologies have been rapidly reshaping the global economy and those who master them can achieve quantum leaps in efficiency and productivity and successfully differentiate themselves in the marketplace. As a company that has installed more than 300,000 robots worldwide and is constantly innovating technologies that are writing the future, ABB was invited to play a key role in the National Robotics Competition organized by the Science Centre in Singapore.
Recognizing the importance of educating youth to embrace the right technology and fostering an early interest in fields such as robotics, Science Centre has been conducting its National Robotics Competition for 17 years, inspiring keen students and keeping them on track with the pace of technological change.
This year, a judging team from ABB was invited to evaluate results from the various tournaments that the eager learners, aged between 6 and 25, had participated in. Johan de Villiers, Managing Director, ABB, Singapore and South-East Asia, spoke and presented to the winning teams at the awards ceremony, held on September 8, 2017.
“As we enter a new era where collaboration between robots and humans is a reality, we also have to take care of the human factor, and the best way to do that is around what this competition aims to achieve – nurturing a generation of innovators who will one day improve the world we live in,” said Johan, encouraging his audience to follow their passion and to dream big.
ABB is a partner of STEM Inc, an initiative by the Science Centre which aims to promote the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools. Many students visit ABB’s facilities to explore cutting-edge technologies outside of the traditional classroom, in a more real-world setting. Involving them in fields such as robotics from a young age is a way of equipping and shaping the future of Singapore.
“The engineers who today are building robots to explore Mars, or working with robots across different industries, were once students just like you, hungry to learn, willing to explore and ready to take on challenges. I hope you all realize that there is much to win in your own futures – not only addressing real life challenges with innovative technologies such as robots, but also contributing to the lives of millions in a meaningful way – that would be the real prize for all,” he expressed, at the prize-giving function.
In 2015 with the introduction of YuMi, the world's first truly collaborative dual-arm industrial robot, ABB once again pushed the boundaries of what robotic automation will look like in the future and how it will fundamentally alter the types of industrial processes that can be automated with robots. Digitalization tools such as ABB’s Connected Services allow manufacturers to harness the full value of intelligence from single robots through to entire fleets, using real-time data via intuitive dashboards to improve robot system performance and reliability.
Both collaboration and digitalization are essential elements of the flexible and efficient ‘factory of the future’ – factories where possibly some of these very students may find themselves as engineers.