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The Future Of Mobile Robots Technology In Malaysia

By Mohamad Salleh Sulieman

THE use of mobile robots in recent years from replacing human labour to increasing productivity and simplifying tasks has seen an increase in use of this technology.

The increase is due to high demands by investors around the globe in saving up on human labour costs. This has inspired a team from the Faculty of Technology and Information Science (FTSM) UKM led by Ts. Dr. Abdul Hadi Abd. Rahman  in paving the way towards the industry with its latest state of the art innovations following years of research. 

The Machine Learning and Vision (MLV) lab at FTSM focuses on developing an APA-based robot system that can adapt to the latest robotic technology in the market. APA or Autonomous, Monitoring, and Cloud is the integration of three essential elements that are becoming more common in the fourth industrial revolution era (IR4.0). The research also utilises an open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) with technologies from Korea, China, and Taiwan. 

APA also integrates the use of image processing, path planning and cloud processing algorithms for any robot applications. Having said that,robotic technology applied socially,in drones and the service industry will benefit from this APA technology. The APA-based robot system is also suitable for various solutions such as edutainment robots for education, human interactive solutions for robot-service applications or surveillance purposes.

In terms of the government’s role and support, these projects have received funds from the Ministry of Higher Education through the RMK-11 programme as well as several university grants.

It would be unjust, however, to compare Malaysia to developed countries such as Korea, Japan, China and the USA as their technology is already established. These robots have already “invaded” local hospitals, wet markets and outdoor parks, thanks to incentives by the government which encourages collaborations between universities and industrial players. 

In light of recent developments, some mobile robot applications used in cleaning, surveillance and in-house delivery services bear great potential to penetrate the market in the respective areas. As exciting as they are, we are also anticipating unmanned grounds and aerial vehicles in action in the near future. 

The mobile robot system is nothing short of a “miracle”. A unique combination of mechanical, electrical and software capabilities, it allows customised robot solutions with effective results, expandable to multiple robots, and increases productivity in human life.

Mohamad Salleh Sulieman is Media & Marketing Officer for Corporate Communications, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of TVS.

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