Sat, Dec 30, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Taiwanese firms encouraged to enter robotics

FUTURE TECH:Robotics firms could make medical and long-term care products due to Taiwan’s strong communications infrastructure, the Adlink chairman told forum attendees

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Most Taiwanese businesses are incapable of making industrial robots, computing technology supplier Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) chairman Jim Liu (劉鈞) told a forum in Taipei yesterday.

However, local businesses have filled niche markets for service robots and automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), he said.

Liu made what he called “annoying remarks” at a forum in the Taipei World Trade Center, which is one of the side events at the three-day Future Tech exposition that ends today.

It is difficult for other Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the market of robots as most of the market share was seized by the top robot makers two to three decades ago, Liu said.

About 40 percent of the world’s computers for industrial robots are made by Adlink, he said.

Nonetheless, the development of robots has entered a third generation, which highlights “connectivity” and relies on the high reliability, low latency and wireless communication within the technological infrastructure, he said.

Most manufacturers of industrial robotic arms are less familiar with communications technology, which could become a niche market for Taiwanese businesses, Liu said.

Local businesses hoping to enter the robot manufacturing market should think about two things: How to have access to real-time data connectivity and how to build artificial intelligence applications into robots, he said.

As the nation has good communications infrastructure, domestic manufacturers could start by making mobile robots such as AGVs and service robots for use in medical and long-term care services, he said.

Forum speaker Huang Chun-ju (黃俊儒), a professor at National Chung Cheng University, said society needs to improve promotion of technological knowledge.

Most of Taiwan’s good scientific news reports appear around the time when Nobel laureates of scientific awards are announced, but those at other times are more concerned about celebrity gossip or report incorrect information, Huang said.

One example was of a doctor in a local TV drama series who placed electrocardiography patches on a patient’s forehead instead of on the patient’s chest, he said.

Seeing movies — such as An Inconvenient Truth and Interstella — can inspire discussions about science, he said, adding that Taiwanese should create better narratives, which present correct information and scenarios that are closer to real life.

Organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Taipei Computer Association, the exposition is to announce the most popular technological award among 109 showcased technologies today.

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