As Singapore aims to become a "smart" nation, discovering and harnessing innovations from research institutes, and other industry players, may be a key to success.
Against this backdrop, three MIT research projects — robotic stingrays, driverless golf carts, and a device that aids in early cancer detection — were exhibited through the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) at Singapore’s first technology carnival, "Tech Saturday." Roughly 10,000 people thronged the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Center on April 25, getting a glimpse of these innovations, which are impacting healthcare, the environment, and human mobility.
Organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the event aimed to bring exciting technologies to communities and ignite the imaginations of the young and old. And that was exactly what MIT professors and SMART researchers did with their three exhibits:
- A microfluidic device that aids in the early detection of cancer by separating tumor cells from blood
- Small stingray-like robots that could help scientists better understand and predict algae blooms and climate change
- Driverless golf carts that could ease “first-and last-mile” commutes to and from work
SMART director Daniel Hastings said: “We are very happy to have been given this opportunity to showcase MIT’s innovation, allowing the public to touch the robotic stingrays and go up-close to our autonomous kayaks, octopus-inspired robot, and microfluidic device. These technologies are but a small subset of what SMART is able to bring to the table to uplift the lives of people. Beyond the areas of healthcare, environment, and mobility, our translational research in all five Interdisciplinary Research Groups within SMART delivers cutting-edge solutions to solve real-world problems.”
On hand at the event was Singapore Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who got a hands-on demonstration of SMART's robotic stingrays. "Tech Saturday is part of the government’s efforts in getting people excited about using and creating with technology. Technology needs to be inclusive and accessible to the young and old, to families and different communities," Ibrahim said.
The event was held as part of Smart Nation, Signapore's national mission to use technology to improve people's lives and business.