Singapore businesses are turning to a new type of employee as the labor shortage lingers on: robots.
From December 2019 to September 2021, the pandemic hindered the number of foreign workers in the region. As a result, companies have begun to rely on technology and automation to perform all types of tasks, from surveying to scanning library bookshelves.
At Gammon, a construction site in the area, a four-legged robot called Spot helps scan mud and gravel to keep track of work progress, then feeds data back to the company’s control room.
At the Singapore National Library Board, two shelf-reading robots help scan labels for around 30% of its collection each day.
“Staff need not read the call numbers one by one on the shelf, and this reduces the routine and labor-intensive aspects,” said Lee Yee Fuang, assistant director at the National Library Board.
However, it isn’t just automated manufacturing work that these robots are aiding in. Even coffee shops are seeing barista robots serve drinks to customers, addressing staffing shortages within the food and beverage industry.
According to the International Federation of Robots, Singapore has deployed 605 robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees, making it the second largest robot employer in the world behind South Korea.