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HKTDC Symposium examines trends and opportunities for smart robots

Hong Kong, April 2017 - (ACN Newswire) - The use of artificial intelligence (AI) robots will increasingly grow across industries, providing new business opportunities, according to speakers at the 2017 Tech Trends Symposium, held during the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) 2017 (13-16 April).

Norman C Tien, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, stressed that robotic technology has a wide variety of applications, ranging from civilian drones to medical sensors and self-driving systems. "Applications are boundless, as robotic technology can be applied in almost anything," he said. "The trend would be developing the technology that changes people's lives seamlessly like the smartphone or social media did." For instance, he added, when vehicles are equipped with self-driving systems, people will no longer have to learn how to drive. Smart technology used to control the flow of vehicles. It will also eliminate traffic jams in future.

Dr Crystal Fok, Technical Lead (Robotics), Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp, predicted that smart robots will be used in various industries in Hong Kong in the next five years, including for tasks characterised as the "3D": Dirty, Dull, and Dangerous - such as for industrial laundry and construction-site welding. "The robot is a tool. With the technologies, robots can help tackle the problems," said Dr Fok. She stressed that robots will not replace humans but upgrade workers to value-added jobs.

Dr Chia-Peng Day, General Manager, Foxconn Automation Technology Development Committee, concurred that in the long run, robotic technology can be applied to factory automation systems, particularly in the "3D" sectors, adding that the technology involves a chained system rather than just a robot.

Gordon Cheng, Professor and Chair, Institute for Cognitive Systems, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Munich, believed there is potential for robotic technology applications in such fields as edutainment, medicine and industry. For the medical and industrial sectors, he expected the technology to become widely used as technological costs gradually decrease.


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