New tech on show at Home Team Festival

Prototype of ICA's upcoming automated clearance system for cars among things to see

This mechanical arm is an early concept of the SCDF exoskeleton that is currenly being developed.
This mechanical arm is an early concept of the SCDF exoskeleton that is currenly being developed. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

It is not exactly what Robocop wears, but part of a new exoskeleton suit that can boost the strength of firefighters and rescuers will be on display at the inaugural Home Team Show and Festival, which opens tomorrow at the Singapore Sports Hub precinct.

The exoskeleton was first unveiled at the annual Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Workplan Seminar last May .

The suit can increase a rescuer's strength and endurance, enabling him to perform difficult tasks when he is alone, such as carrying casualties and heavy objects for a longer time. Made mainly of aluminium and carbon fibre, the SCDF could be the first firefighting unit in the world to use the "wearable machines".

Besides the suit, visitors can also take a ride on a Police Coast Guard boat and view a prototype of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) upcoming automated clearance system for cars.

In a recent interview with The Straits Times, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam highlighted some of these initiatives as moves to enable Home Team agencies to become more integrated and technology-enabled.


The festival, which will run until Sunday, is free and is expected to attract at least 70,000 visitors.


We often see Singapore Civil Defence Force officers running towards danger to save lives and help others.

This video of the burning taxi which exploded yesterday shows two brave firefighters battling the fire before the taxi exploded.

Good to learn that the firefighter caught in the blast is OK. He suffered only minor burns, and has been discharged. Hope he and the others injured recover soon.

The Home Team works hard to protect Singapore and Singaporeans.

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, in a Facebook post yesterday. He was referring to a video of an incident on Sunday in which a burning Trans-Cab taxi exploded in Commonwealth Avenue opposite Buona Vista MRT station.

Over four evenings between May 3 and 6, the Home Team will also have parades and performances at the Indoor Stadium, but this is by invitation only and limited to 5,000 guests per night, said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The festival venue is divided into four zones, including one that allows visitors to touch and feel gear such as rescue equipment.

Another zone is presented as a stage where joint-operation demonstrations are held.

In one demonstration, officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau, ICA and SCDF work together to chase and arrest a suspected drug trafficker who attempts to jump from a building.

Another zone highlights the agencies' future capabilities, which include a "through wall imager" that uses radar-based imaging technology to detect people hidden behind walls and barriers.

Visitors can also see how virtual reality is used to customise training scenarios for officers, and how the ICA's automated in-car passenger clearance system will eventually work at Singapore's checkpoints.

Besides the zones, there will be a shooting range where visitors can fire weapons such as the HKMP5 sub-machine gun, the TAC-700 Launcher and the FN303 Launching System.

Some visitors will also get to experience a high-speed boat chase.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2017, with the headline 'New tech on show at Home Team Festival'. Subscribe