July 11, 2012      

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia must take bold and concerted steps to develop and accelerate its robotics and automation industry by formulating a clear master plan that is well coordinated by the government and industry to avoid lagging behind other countries.

Chairman of Malaysia Robotics and Automation Interest Group (MYRAIG), Professor Dr Ishkandar Baharin, said the key challenge was that Malaysia lacked a strong robotics industry association unlike the developed nations which had strong robotics charter pooling resources effectively and optimally.

?We are actively gathering feedback from various robotics and automation industry players and decision makers to help formulate the framework for a national robotics and automation roadmap for Malaysia.

?Europe, the US, Korea and Japan excel in this area because they synchronise government, industry and academia efforts to develop the industry by drawing up clear master plans that are monitored by investors and bankers,? he said in his opening address at the RoboticsAsia 2012 Conference here yesterday.

Innovation Malaysia

The one-day conference, launched by Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Haji Fadillah Yusof, aimed to be the platform for all players involved in the robotics and automation industry in Malaysia to come together to formulate the first Malaysia Robotics and Automation Roadmap.

?From this conference, a working group will be formed to plan the National Strategic Robotics Agenda. The participants from this workshop will form the Malaysia Robotics Technology Group.
?These will be the core professionals who will be nationally recognised as the robotics and automation leaders who will contribute to the first Malaysian Robotics and Automation Roadmap, which will be the national blueprint to lead to industrial innovation through robotics and automation technology,? Ishkandar said.

He said from an industry perspective, MYRAIG was looking from product visions to application requirements and from fundamental sciences to technology breakthroughs.

?We are keen to establish a network of robotics and automation clusters involving all quarters to discuss the national agenda and how to align the sector to the government?s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP),? he said.

MYRAIG, an interest group under the Malaysian Society for Engineering and Technology, is already affiliated with the International Federation of Robotics based in Germany and the Robotics Association of Korea and Japan, aiming to help build the needed framework to position Malaysia as the Asian hub for robotics and automation. ? Bernama

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