US Reporter

Singaporean businesses are now employing robots amid labor shortage

Image Source: REUTERS

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Singaporean government to take drastic measures, and now robot workers are servicing establishments.

Many businesses have employed robots to do tasks since regular human employees are now out-of-reach due primarily due to the restrictions imposed by the government.

The number of foreign workers fell by 235,700 Between December 2019 and September 2021 – a workforce that the city-state highly depends on. The manpower ministry noted that this development aid in the speed-up of the “pace of technology adoption and automation” by companies.

For example, the four-legged robot named “Spot” is a valued member of the construction site team at Gammon. It sends data to its employer about work and progress on mud or gravel at assigned periods.

According to Michael O’Connell, Gammon General Manager, “Replacing the need for manpower on-site with autonomous solutions is gaining real traction.” He further noted that when ‘Spot’ was employed, the robot halved the required manpower for the job.

O’Connell further expressed that using robots as employees is now a trend for most, and it is ‘there to stay.’

National Library in Singapore is also using two shelf-reading robots that can scan up to 100,000 books.

The assistant director of the National Library Board said, “Staff need not read the call numbers one by one on the shelf, and this reduces the routine and labor-intensive aspects.”

Robots are also beginning to take over jobs that deal directly with consumers. Over 30 metro stations plan on using robots in their daily operations.

Chief Executive of Town Digital, Keith Tan, employment of robots solved the “biggest pain point” in food and beverage, which is to outsource staff at this time. Tan further explained that the rise of robot workers would automate business systems.

Despite the benefits that robots give to businesses, many still feel that human interactions are more effective. “We always want to have some kind of human touch,” expressed one commuter.

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.