New DSO Complex launched, featuring facilities for robotics and artificial intelligence research

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen  at the official opening ceremony of DSO Complex, the new headquarters of defence research organisation DSO National Laboratories, on April 21, 2017.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at the official opening ceremony of DSO Complex, the new headquarters of defence research organisation DSO National Laboratories, on April 21, 2017. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Some facilities at the new DSO Complex include the Robotics Lab, where engineers work on prototyping, integration, simulation and testing of robotic systems prior to field trials.
Some facilities at the new DSO Complex include the Robotics Lab, where engineers work on prototyping, integration, simulation and testing of robotic systems prior to field trials. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - The DSO Complex, the new headquarters of defence research organisation DSO National Laboratories, was opened by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Friday (Apr 21).

With a total floor space of 69,000 sq m, the two eight-storey buildings will house more than 1,000 staff, working across more than 200 offices and laboratories.

"The design of the DSO Complex is carefully planned to facilitate increased collaboration not only between staff from different R&D divisions within DSO, but also with our partners in Mindef (Ministry of Defence), SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), DSTA (Defence Science and Technology Agency), ST and other government agencies," said DSO chief executive officer Cheong Chee Hoo.

The new complex will play a key role in driving "innovative concepts and experimental laboratories" to provide the SAF with "indigenous and special capabilities" to meet a wide spectrum of security challenges, said Dr Ng.

The complex also features new facilities to further DSO's research in two key areas - robotics and artificial intelligence.

These include the Playground, a dedicated space for DSO staff across various disciplines to explore and test ideas.

Facilities at the Playground allows the development time for prototypes, such as those of antennas and sensors used in radars and communication systems, to be shortened by 10 times and save costs by up to 75 per cent.

They also allow for quick testing of designs, which allows for errors to be quickly identified and corrected.

The Playground also features an artificial intelligence hub, which works on DSO innovations such as a dashboard that can profile suspected terrorists across social media platforms.

The DSO Complex also features a 500 sq m robotics laboratory, which works on a variety of unmanned vehicles systems that can operate across land, sea and air. These vehicles can operate without GPS, which allows them to operate in unfamiliar terrains such as forested areas.