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UTM Hosts Malaysia’s AIR2023: Uniting AI and Robotics for Industry 4.0

The esteemed Conference of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Industry 4.0 2023 (AIR2023) and MACE Research Symposium (MaRS 2023) officially began at UTM Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur. The honourable Minister from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Malaysia, YB Chang Lih Kang, presided over the opening ceremony, warmly welcomed by Pro Vice-Chancellor of UTMKL, Prof. Ts. Dr. Abd. Latif Saleh, and General Chair, Prof. Ir. Dr. Hazlina Selamat. MOSTI Secretary General, Datuk Ts, also graced the event. Dr. Haji Aminuddin bin Hassim, and MOSTI Deputy Secretary General (Technology Development) YBhg. Datuk Ts. Dr. Mohd Nor Azman bin Hassan demonstrated the strong support of MOSTI for this AI and Robotics event in Malaysia.

The Chairperson for AIR2023 and MaRS 2023, Professor Ir. Dr. Hazlina Selamat has expressed that the two conferences complement each other. The joint event signifies a strong partnership between industry and academia, focusing on research and development. MaRS 2023, a research symposium, is the result of collaboration between six universities: UTM, USM, UPM, UPNM, UiTM, and UMS. Meanwhile, AIR2023 highlights industry participation, particularly in the realm of smart manufacturing, whereas MaRS 2023 showcases the latest technological discoveries within academia.

The robotics dancing ensemble by DF Automation & Robotics Sdn Bhd was the highlight of the event. The performance involved a universal robot arm and an autonomous robotic vehicle (ARV) that flawlessly executed their dance moves. The co-founder of DF Automation & Robotics Sdn Bhd, Assoc Prof. Dr. Yeong Che Fai, and his two students created the robot duo in 2012. Leantec and AI.Lean, commonly used in the manufacturing industry to perform tasks without continuous human guidance, introduced the conference’s montage. These robots were among the industrial robot arm and motion controllers sponsored by Syntec Malaysia to CAIRO UTM, amounting to RM100,000. The demonstration showcased the close collaboration between academia and the industry, which was a perfect example of the AIR2023 opening ceremony.

The success of AIR2023 was made possible through the collaboration of various organizations such as the Malaysian Society for Engineering & Technology (MySET), Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI), and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, UTM Skudai. This event gathered almost 100 participants and marked a significant step for Malaysia to prepare local companies to transform into Industry 4.0.

The Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, YB Chang Lih Kang, emphasized that a recent report by PwC predicts that AI could potentially contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Therefore, events like AIR2023 are crucial to fully harness the benefits of AI technology for Malaysia’s economy.

During the event’s first keynote speech, YB Chang Lih Kang participated in Mr. KL Bock’s journey of establishing the first ‘Lights-out’ Factory in Malaysia. Mr. Bock explained that a ‘Lights-out’ or ‘dark factory’ is a fully automated factory with no human interaction, and he focused on lean manufacturing to minimize mistakes. He also shared information about the global lighthouse network, which is a community of manufacturers that demonstrates leadership in using Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to transform factories, value chains, and business models, resulting in significant financial and operational returns. Additionally, Mr. Bock predicts that IR 5.0 will soon arrive, where humanoids, the future robots for industry, will be widely implemented.

YB Chang visited seven booths during the closing of the opening ceremony. These booths were by Robopreneur, NI/VISI Academy, DF Automation & Robotics, MRANTI, CAIRO UTM, Faculty of Electrical Engineering UTM, and MTDC. The booths showcased AI and robotics technology, which aligned with the conference’s theme and impressed visitors.



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