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Singapore Enhancing Robotics in Food Services

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A*STAR, in collaboration with a local F&B-centric robotics and automation SME, has developed a joint research and innovation initiative to foster innovation in robotic platforms for the Food Services industry.

This programme will combine both parties’ Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre’s (ARTC) skills to develop solutions that incorporate Food and Beverage (F&B) domain knowledge, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation.

The F&B-centric robotics and automation SME and A*STAR’s ARTC will invest S$3.5 million in developing a modular vision platform that can assist robotised operations in F&B by assisting these robots to self-navigate and self-calibrate in dynamic and space-constrained environments such as restaurant kitchens.

The combined effort will also use a digital twin platform to establish a digital representation of the F&B robotic system, allowing for real-time analytics that enables remote monitoring and optimisation of operations, accelerating the deployment of new robotic systems and decreasing operational downtime.

The combined research and innovation project embodies both A*STAR’s and the firm’s desire to leverage mutual capabilities to perform research combining F&B domain expertise, robotics, automation, AI, vision, and digital twin technologies.

The partnership is sure that the technology they produce will assist support and building the digital and automation capabilities of F&B firms. Besides, they believe that this will help Singapore establish itself as a major F&B robotics and automation hub, increase the efficiency of Food Service personnel, and help address the sector’s manpower problem and rising operational expenses.

The collaborative effort intends to create solutions that will enable the Food Services industry to automate operations and boost efficiency, lowering the amount of repetitious and physically demanding work and allowing F&B personnel to focus on higher-value jobs.

A*STAR’s ARTC engages with local enterprises to co-develop breakthrough technologies and co-innovate industry solutions to seize new growth possibilities locally and worldwide, according to Dr David Low, CEO of A*STAR’s ARTC.

He added that such public-private collaborations are critical in bringing complementary expertise together to address problem statements and increase productivity and efficiency in the Fast-Moving Food Services industry and beyond.

The Food Services business is set to expand and evolve further. Digitalisation and automation are critical to assisting F&B businesses in thriving and overcoming obstacles such as a labour shortage.

This collaboration will develop solutions to assist F&B enterprises in optimising their operations. They anticipate more similar cooperation between innovation and IT ecosystem partners to boost F&B company growth.

Drive innovation is critical for the food services industry because it has the potential to revolutionise operations and address significant concerns. Innovation serves as fuel for growth and sustainability in an era characterised by technical advancements and shifting consumer expectations.

Automation streamlines operations and reduces reliance on manual labour. Tasks such as food preparation, cooking, and serving can be carried out more efficiently by adding robotics, AI, and automation technology, resulting in higher productivity and lower operational expenses.

Improved consumer experiences are made possible by innovation. From self-ordering kiosks and smartphone apps to personalised recommendations and delivery drones, technology advancements improve consumer convenience, speed, and personalisation. This results in increased client happiness and loyalty, which ultimately drives corporate success.

It is also critical in addressing labour shortages. With rising labour costs and a diminishing workforce, automation and robotics provide options to fill the gaps, allowing food service enterprises to remain efficient and successful.

In addition, food service industry innovation can reduce environmental effects. Through innovative technologies, sustainable practices such as waste reduction, energy efficiency, and eco-friendly packaging solutions can be integrated, leading to a greener and more socially responsible industry.


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