SINGAPORE: DSO National Laboratories (DSO) – Singapore’s largest defence R&D organisation – officially opened its new complex in Science Park Drive on Friday (Apr 21).

The eight-storey twin buildings house more than 1,000 research engineers and scientists from across 200 offices and laboratories. They are also equipped with facilities that can further research in areas of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

The new DSO National Laboratories complex consists of two eight-storey buildings. (Photo: Nur Afifah)

This includes the Playground, a shared space where researchers and scientists can access a wide suite of technology and tools. It also comprises an Artificial Intelligence hub, which aims to raise awareness of AI and promote innovative applications of the technologies to Singapore’s defence systems.

Some of these innovations include using data for maritime security and analysing social media to determine and extract intelligence to support counter-terrorism efforts.

Another key facility in the new complex is the Robotics Laboratory, a one-stop shop for engineers to embark on prototyping, integration, simulation and testing of robotic systems prior to field tests.

It is the first of its kind in Singapore, and is focused on making unmanned systems smarter and faster.

A demonstration of an unmanned air-to-ground teaming of a drone and driverless vehicle at the opening of the new DSO Complex on Friday (Apr 21).  (Photo: Nur Afifah)

In his opening address, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen acknowledged the importance of DSO’s role in the defence landscape, especially in building up new capabilities for the Next Gen Singapore Armed Forces.

“As it did before, DSO’s work must help us better prepare for challenges ahead. DSO’s past efforts in AI and robotics since the 1990s have helped provide the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) with unmanned platforms for land, sea and air,” said Dr Ng.

A demonstration of an unmanned air-to-ground teaming of a drone and driverless vehicle at the opening of the new DSO Complex on Friday (Apr 21). (Photo: Nur Afifah)

“With our increasing dependence on technology, the new DSO complex has been designed to encourage collaboration and spur innovations to meet SAF’s future requirements,” he added.

Dr Ng also went on a tour of the Playground and the Robotics Laboratory, where he witnessed a live demonstration of an unmanned air-to-ground teaming of a drone and driverless vehicle, capabilities which could soon be deployed in SAF operations. 

Courtesy of Channel News Asia