Servicemen take Pride in awards for technological innovation

The Naval Logistics Command (Nalcom), under Military Expert 7 Andy Tay, won the Minister for Defence Award. One project that helped Nalcom win the award was an iPad app that cuts paperwork.
The Naval Logistics Command (Nalcom), under Military Expert 7 Andy Tay, won the Minister for Defence Award. One project that helped Nalcom win the award was an iPad app that cuts paperwork. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Driverless shuttle buses, biometric security scanners and even a solution to allow servicemen to use their camera-equipped smartphones in camp.

These are some of the technological initiatives to be implemented by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in years to come.

They are part of a "Smart Defence" vision announced yesterday by Second Minister for Defence Lui Tuck Yew at Mindef PRIDE (Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts) Day, an annual event showcasing outstanding and innovative Mindef and SAF projects.

Mr Lui, who is also the outgoing Minister for Transport, presented 29 Pride Day awards to individuals, groups and units from Mindef and SAF at the event, held at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Another 158 awards were given out earlier by Chief of Defence Force Perry Lim.

The innovations and work improvement ideas saved Mindef $141.8 million in the last financial year. They include an iPad app that enhances the civil resource requisition process by reducing time spent on paperwork by up to 80 per cent, and a naval gun performance test that uses laser technology, saving more than $200,000 a year.

Other innovations on display at the Pride exhibition, which is open to the public for free and runs until tomorrow, include a spider-like robot that can climb, crawl and roll, and the Human Robot Interaction System (Huriss), which uses augmented-reality glasses and smart gloves that can control a robot remotely.

Lt Col Mohamed Feroz, assistant director at Mindef's Future Systems and Technology Directorate, said that Huriss, which will be trialled next year, will make soldiers more "efficient and effective".

Mr Lui highlighted the importance of continual innovation, and said that technology can help to "maximise every soldier's potential in operations, and relieve personnel, as much as possible, of dangerous, laborious or mundane tasks".

He added: "Our vision of Smart Defence is to apply new technologies so that we as an organisation work smarter, and our people's work lives are improved."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2015, with the headline 'Servicemen take Pride in awards for technological innovation'. Print Edition | Subscribe