Current and potential employees in Singapore will soon be able to add robotics literacy, an increasingly important skill, to their CVs as automation gains wide adoption in the country.
Universal Robots (UR), the pioneer and market leader of collaborative robots (cobots), has partnered with National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), to establish the UR Collaborative Robotics Course.
The course follows the launch of UR’s free online training platform in 2016, UR Academy, which provides basic programming training on UR cobots. It is also reflective of UR’s focus of fostering innovation.
Most recently, UR co-founder, Esben Østergaard was awarded the 2018 Engleberger Award, the ‘Nobel Prize’ of robotics. The company also unveiled its new flagship e-Series cobots which offer wider application reach, increased usability and faster deployment.
Starting this August, the course will empower individuals with knowledge and skills to self-deploy robotics solutions and maintain automation equipment. The course, held at UR’s new training facility, is available in three levels: basic, intermediate and advanced—and will be led by a certified UR trainer.
The courses, which run for 24 hours each, will give participants deeper insight into robotics, automation, risk assessments and safety standards, programming, development and engineering of automated solutions.
Participants will learn how to identify ideal processes for automation. They will also learn about the use of multiple end-of-arm robotic tools, configure safety systems and program simple collaborative applications such as ‘pick and place’.
Shermine Gotfredsen, General Manager, Southeast Asia and Oceania at Universal Robots said: “Robotics and automation have become an integral part of our lives, transforming the way we live and work as Singapore progresses towards a Smart Nation.
“Robotics offers endless benefits, enabling companies to reduce operational cost, increase productivity and competitiveness and improve employee wellbeing. Singapore is increasingly leveraging on robotics—ranking second globally in terms of automation adoption in the manufacturing sector, with a robot density of 488 robots per 10,000 employees.
“To fully reap the benefits of robotics and automation, workforce up-skilling is essential. Therefore, we are pleased to partner with e2i to establish the UR Collaborative Robotics Course. The course is timely as 24% of work activities in Singapore is expected to be automated by 2030.. There is greater urgency to nurture a pipeline of talent to take on new and higher value jobs that will arise from automation. This also subsequently improves an individual’s career prospects,” she added.
UR hopes to train more than 500 participants per year in robotics through the course.
Participants who successfully complete the UR Advanced Collaborative Robotics Course can progress further with the Application Specific Elective Modules. These dedicated modules, each four hours long, will guide participants in building complex application projects such as packing & palletising, advanced assembly, polishing & gluing and machine tending.
Topics covered in the Advanced Course will be expanded with exercises using real world applications.
Rise of Cobots in Singapore
In Singapore, UR has seen strong adoption of its cobots particularly in the electronics, precision engineering, biomedical and pharmaceutical industries.
In 2017, electronics and the precision engineering clusters were main growth contributors in the manufacturing sector due to surging export demand. The manufacturing sector, which makes up a fifth of the economy, expanded by 10.1% last year.
Non-traditional industries are also increasingly employing the use of cobots in sectors such as F&B, hospitality and the services industry. In Singapore, Changi General Hospital uses a robot picker – a cobot that can pick a range of objects – including fragile items – from a shelf. This reduces the likelihood of accidents and allows staff to focus on catering to patients’ needs.
How to Get Started
The course is available in Singapore and open to the general public including foreigners and non-residents. Participants are required to have Singapore’s National Institute of Technical Education Certificate (NITEC) or equivalent as minimum entry requirements.