ROSS Digital and A*STAR establish new programme to drive innovation for the food services industry

The joint research and innovation programme will integrate the use of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation to develop robotic platforms for the food services industry.

ROSS Digital, a Singapore F&B-centric robotics and automation SME, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have established a joint research and innovation programme to drive innovation in robotic platforms for the food services industry.

This programme will combine the capabilities of ROSS Digital and A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC), to create solutions that integrate food and beverage domain knowledge, as well as artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation.

With a combined investment of S$3.5m, ROSS Digital and A*STAR’s ARTC will focus on developing a modular vision platform that can assist robotised operations in F&B, through helping these robots self-navigate and self-calibrate in dynamic and space-constrained environments such as restaurant kitchens. The joint programme will also use a digital twin platform to create a digital representation of the F&B robotic system, providing real-time analytics that enable remote monitoring and optimise processes, speeding up the deployment of new robotic systems as well as reducing operational downtime.

Gavin Pathross, CEO and founder of ROSS Digital, said: “The joint research and innovation programme embodies both A*STAR’s and ROSS Digital’s aspiration to harness our mutual strengths to conduct research that combines F&B domain expertise, robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, vision and digital twin technologies. I am confident that the technologies that we develop will help support and build F&B companies’ digital and automation capabilities. Furthermore, we believe that this will help propel Singapore as a leading F&B robotics and automation hub, enhance the productivity of food services workers and help tackle the sector’s manpower shortage and rising operational costs.”

The joint programme aims to develop solutions that will allow the food services industry to automate operations and improve productivity, reducing the amount of repetitive and physically demanding work as well as enabling opportunities for F&B employees to take on higher value tasks.

“A*STAR’s ARTC collaborates with local companies such as ROSS Digital to co-develop advanced technologies and co-innovate industry solutions to capture new growth opportunities locally and globally. Such public-private partnerships are important in bringing together complementary capabilities to address problem statements and improve productivity and efficiency in the fast-moving food services industry and beyond,” said Dr David Low, CEO, A*STAR’s ARTC.

Angeline Chan, director of food services, Enterprise Singapore, said, “The Food Services industry is poised to see further growth and transformation. Digitalisation and automation are key to helping F&B companies thrive and overcome challenges such as manpower shortage. This partnership between A*STAR and ROSS Digital will create solutions to help F&B companies optimise their operations. We look forward to more of such collaborations between innovation and tech ecosystem partners to drive the growth of F&B companies.”