Can The Usage of Robotics in Schools Help Students With Special Needs?

Jul 04, 2019
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Robotics technology can help teachers in providing emotional assistance to students with special needs, as robots are non-judgmental and patient in their interaction.

Learning with robots is a relational experience, one that provides a very different approach than learning with the help of a computer or other electronic devices. The attention for body and movement through robotics stimulates development of basic skills and capacity for learning. Visuo-spatial, visuo-motory and social skills are essential for students with Special Educational Needs.

Robotics technology can help teachers in providing emotional assistance to students with special needs, as robots are non-judgmental and patient in their interaction. Such assistance will then motivate these students to learn and engage better. The usage of robotics is also in-line with the Ministry of Education’s Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi (PPKI) philosophy, in supporting students with special needs to become competent, independent and productive individuals.

A research by the University of Birmingham showed that usage of humanoid robots improved children’s basic learning skills. Robots can be used in many activities. For example, in memory games, a robot that simulates a child’s behaviour can encourage students to imitate the robot’s movements.  Thus, helping them become engaged and motivated with learning. The research also noted that, students tend to find robots charming and non-threatening, making it an excellent therapy buddy and helping with the development of social skills.

Robotics Help Learning in Children With Autism

How Can Robotics Help Learning in Children With Autism?

Students with autism often experience social drawbacks as they do not make eye contact and have trouble noticing social cues such as a smile or a grimace. These cause them to struggle when expressing themselves. Generally, robots provide a safe and predictable playful environment for children with autism to enjoy and interact (Dautenhahn and Werry, 2004); moreover, the use of robots as therapy tools has shown positive impact in learning process.

There is a positive receptiveness from autistic students towards robots, as they know robots are non-judgmental. Students no longer worry about discriminated by their behavior or inadequacies. Studies have shown that humanoid robots can help autistic children develop the social skills they need. In studies done to help children with autism learn social skills, therapists have used robots and behavioral analysis that utilizes play to increase children’s desire to learn good social behaviour

Robotics in Special Needs Education

Robotics in Special Needs Education, Made Possible by TM ONE

TM ONE recently showcased the potential of robotics as an effective educational tool in special needs education, at an event for students with Special Educational Needs under the Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi (PPKI) at SMK Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur in Daerah Sentul on 30th April 2019. This event was part of Program Transformasi Minda Anak Muda by Malaysia’s Ministry of Education (MOE), aimed to encourage the involvement and interest of students by introducing various educational opportunities.

The 80 participating students under PPKI at SMK Batu Muda are diagnosed with autism and attention issues, students with special abilities, slow learners, Down Syndrome, blindness, deafness and others. The students had the opportunity to meet, touch and interact with the robots. They were excited to approach and even dance with the robots, and when asked if they would like the robots to teach them in class, all the students cheered and replied positively.

Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim, Deputy Director General of Education at the MOE together with Dr Ahmad Rafee Che Kassim, Director of Education Planning and Research Department (EPRD) were present along with TM ONE Education Solutions team, brought excitement to these special children. Joining them was Feilina Feisol, Chairman of The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), witnessing how students with autism and attention issues react to robotics. 

TM ONE presented three different types of robots during the event.

robot type

NAO is a humanoid robot normally used as an education-teaching tool and is especially helpful in assisting teachers dealing with special need students. During this event, we saw children with autism interacting with the NAO in a different way compared to their normal interactions with other people. Humanoid robots are especially effective at teaching socialization skills to autistic children, by acting as peers and aiding them with the necessary social skills. This type of humanoid robotics is suitable for special need students as they can move, dance, recognise, listen to and communicate with the students.

The students were also receptive to SANBOT, a smart mobile robot fitted with an ergonomic design blended with technology. The students were excited to explore SANBOT’s touch panel and to communicate with it. SANBOT is a brilliant tutor and assistant for these students, as its cloud-based services and information platform enable self-learning capability.

Also featured was the KINOVA Robotic Arm, which was mounted to a wheelchair to help students with physical disabilities achieve better movement. The KINOVA robotic arm demonstrated how robotics can help people with special abilities to participate productively in driving the digital economy.

TM ONE will continue its efforts with innovative solutions to support the education sector and schools nationwide. Robotics is not intended to replace human teaching, but to assist and magnify the effectiveness of teaching and learning. The use of robotics in special education enables active learning, inclusiveness and sustainable development of the specially-abled community in supporting Industrial Revolution 4.0.

Learn with robot

Innovating Digital Businesses

Feb 21, 2019
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IPDC stands as the first commercial data centre to be awarded the Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility in Malaysia by Uptime Institute.

The administration process around building a strong digital infrastructure is usually seen as an expensive endeavor. The involvement of multiple vendors create unnecessary challenge of delays in service deliveries and increased costs, causing businesses to lose their competitive edge in the global market. TM ONE—the enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM)—eliminates these complexities by taking a holistic approach in delivering a complete digital enabler solution for the enterprise as well as public-sector clients, with connectivity and security at its core. “The TM ONE umbrella comprises several product pillars that ensure more efficient, competitive, and a frictionless digital enablement for every industry,” says Nizam Arshad, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of TM ONE.

As the primary digital enabler, TM ONE’s first pillar of digital business solutions information and communication technology (ICT) services, delivering the best-in-class total experience. The company constantly seeks strategic alliances and builds its own strong ecosystem of local and global partners to create innovative end-to-end digital solutions and managed services to help enterprises and public-sector customers solve even the most complex digital transformation challenges. The second pillar in TM ONE’s solution is the BPO services, which include voice, live chat, as well as chatbots to help clients develop stronger relations with their customers. The company also offers the electronic form product, which can be used by call center agents to transform paper documents into electronic forms quickly, thereby saving organisational cost by storing documents using fewer servers and operating systems.

“TM ONE has partnered with a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution provider to offer a software robot that takes over human tasks and processes performed online,” adds Nizam. This robot can substitute routine and manual tasks in functional areas including human resource, administration, procurement and finance. The solution can be deployed on-premise and on TM ONE Cloud with easy payment options depending on the type of work to be performed. Running on TM ONE Cloud, it can be shared by multiple organisations to reduce operational costs even further.

TM ONE’s fourth product pillar is a comprehensive suite of Smart Services that utilise connectivity, data center, cloud, ICT services, and IoT to address the challenges in industries such as real estate. One of our highlight solution is the Smart Traffic Analytics & Recognition System (STARS), which can provide real-time traffic flow information from the data collected through cameras and exchanges. This information can then be analysed to identify faults in the traffic signal systems, enabling field engineers to be sent on time and thereby minimizing traffic disruption. This solution allows chief engineers to leverage laptops/mobile devices as a monitoring operation center (MOC) to program the sequence of the traffic lights—improving traffic flow and reducing the cost of operating and managing traffic lights.

To enable the digital transformation of any business, TM ONE has built the Iskandar Puteri Data Centre (IPDC) as a purpose-built carrier-neutral data center. IPDC stands as the first commercial data center to be awarded the Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility in Malaysia by Uptime Institute. This service enables institutions to leverage the bundled data center, cloud, BPO, and DR services, all at the right level of pricing.

TM ONE is the business solution arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad. Telekom Malaysia Berhad has established its footprint in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Singapore, Australia, China, and London in the UK. The company also has a significant presence in Jakarta, Indonesia where they are offering contact center services that are manned by over 4,000 agents. “Our future investments will be around ICT and smart services, which will be offered through our existing cloud infrastructure,” concludes Nizam.

Forging A New Future for Malaysia’s Manufacturers

Feb 24, 2021
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Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry.

In the pre-digital era, manufacturing plants were deemed an unstoppable force in many economies. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought sharp lessons resulting in factory shutdowns and multiple supply chain disruptions. Even with the continuing battle against the pandemic, the manufacturing sector must intensify its efforts to survive and find new avenues of growth.

Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry, a fact well-recognised by manufacturers across Malaysia and the Asia Pacific, said Sudev Bangah, Managing Director of IDC ASEAN, at the recent Smart Manufacturing Circuit 2020 virtual event organised by TM ONE. IDC analysis has also found that many companies are shifting towards targeted investments in machine learning, cloud, robotics, and internet of things (IoT) to drive a path through future crises as well as to secure growth.

Meanwhile, Maznan Deraman, Head of Innovative Solutions at TM ONE, the enterprise and public sector business arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) believes, “Digital adoption brings great potential for improving product quality, increasing productivity and creating more high-skilled jobs.” He shared how TM ONE will support the manufacturing industry’s digitalisation journey.

Data-driven Efficiency

Data is deemed to be crucial for building a resilient manufacturing company. Understanding how well each part of the production line works will help managers minimise wastage, speed up production, and produce better products. Manufacturers need to think about what data they need and what tech they can use to collect it, shared Sudev.

Another crucial aspect is data analytics. Most manufacturers currently record data on paper and transfer it manually to a software for analysis, explained Nazman Fariz Mohd Noh from TM ONE’s Smart Manufacturing Solutions. “This is labour intensive and prone to human error.”

TM ONE has an analytics tool that helps companies gain deep visibility to their production processes. The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) platform delivers an overview of all the processes within a factory using data collected from IoT devices. Supervisors can use this to optimise production hours, identify faulty machines, redistribute production, and monitor products for defects.

The platform consolidates real-time data for each machine, including its schedule, availability, and effectiveness. Managers can chart this on a graph to monitor individual performance over time, or zoom out to see how the overall production line is faring.

The OEE shares all data via online through TM ONE’s Cloud Alpha platform. Staff can monitor the status of each machine anytime and anywhere, said Nazman Faris.

Minimising Costs through Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is a key feature of the OEE. This will help cut time and costs substantially. Manufacturing companies report that more than a fifth of its costs are due to downtime, and that 90 per cent of maintenance work is eaten up by having to fix breakdowns, Maznan shared.

The OEE platform monitors levels of concern for each machine: low means it’s doing well; middle to high means it might need immediate attention. It also automatically compiles a list of machines with higher attention scores, arranged according to severity.

Once a machine has been identified for maintenance, the technician will take a look at its timeline, alerts, and any notes on the OEE to carry out the repair work more efficiently. Machine experts can also study this information to analyse causes and develop better fixes.

Other Must Have Solutions for Your Digital Operations

In addition to the OEE analytics platform, TM ONE also offers cloud and cybersecurity tools to protect companies’ data. “Nowadays, we can’t have all information or systems on premise, because we know for a fact that on premise solutions carry a certain level of risk,” Maznan said. For instance, businesses may not have the proper disaster recovery services to react to potential cyber-attacks, he explained.

TM ONE is collaborating with technology companies such as Huawei to develop new tools for Malaysia’s manufacturing sector. Eng Chew Hian, Business Development Director at HUAWEI CLOUD Malaysia, shared details of how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to improve manufacturing processes.

Huawei’s drone inspection tool uses high definition (HD) cameras, 5G connectivity and AI image processing to study the surfaces of planes. Aircraft technicians run on a tight schedule when conducting safety checks between flights, and manual inspections are time- and labour-intensive.

The drone flies through the plane to search for scratches, corrosions, and loose screws. It also cross-checks the model of the plane to ensure each part meets specific safety standards.

Huawei has also developed an AI image analysis tool for safer aircraft manufacturing. It uses thermal sensors to find gaps when wings are welded onto a plane. Planes have to withstand tremendous vibrations and wind speeds, and any gaps could be disastrous, Eng explained.

“Although the movement control order was gradually lifted, the overall impact on the whole supply chain has been dramatic!” said Maznan. Digital technologies such as IoT and data analytics are helping Malaysia’s manufacturing plants navigate the uncertainties in a recovering economy.

Next-Gen Tech Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response

Jan 07, 2021
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From drones to data, here are some ways that governments have harnessed technology to enhance emergency response strategies.

In an era of sudden terror attacks, pandemics, and natural disasters: countries must remain alert to counter any emergencies, which could bring devastating consequences. How are governments currently optimising their emergency management strategies to better protect the people and mitigate emergencies? 

With each technological advance, governments are taking the opportunity to consider reviewing and adopting their response strategies. Data and the increasingly sophisticated analytics is proven to be one of the fundamental keys to support more effective and faster response tools to governments and support agencies.

Here are some examples of how tech is helping faster recovery for citizens in Asia.

Malaysia’s Covid-19 App

In March this year, just three (3) months after Covid-19 first reached Malaysia, the government released a mobile application to help check and control the spread of the disease. With MySejahtera app, citizens monitor their own health status, and receive latest updates on the pandemic status.

The app groups citizens into categories based on their risk level of contracting Covid-19, and will inform them of the next steps to action. For instance, those under surveillance will have to quarangtine themselves at home for 14 days, while those at high risk must get tested at designated hospitals.

MySejahtera also serves as a contact tracing app. Citizens scan a QR code before they enter a premise or any public places, and the system logs where they have visited in the last 14 days. Users can also register family members who don’t have a smartphone.

The app supports teleconsultations, so that patients can speak with a doctor without having to leave their home. This helps them to stay safe, and eases demands on healthcare services.

Citizens can also plan safer routes by using the app’s hotspot tracker. The system taps machine learning capabilities to identify a possible sources of infection for each confirmed case, and maps it geographically, Dr Mahesh Appannan, Senior Principal Assistant Director of the Disease Control Division at Malaysia’s Ministry of Health told GovInsider.

Disaster Alert Systems Keep Citizens Informed

Managing impact from natural disasters relies greatly on early warning systems and maintaining a continual flow of information.

In the Indian state of Odisha, geoclimatic conditions lead to frequent natural calamities such as droughts, floods, cyclones, and unseasonal rain. Odisha has faced 17 large natural disasters in the past 20 years.

In 2019, the Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority developed “SATARK” (System for Assessing, Tracking and Alerting Disaster Risk Information based on Dynamic Risk Knowledge) in collaboration with the Bangkok-based Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System. This mobile application provides automated early warning and real-time information about hazards such as lightning, heatwaves, cyclones, drought, and floods.

SATARK integrates different forms of data from national and international agencies to provide location-specific alerts. Drawing upon historical patterns, SATARK provides users with easily understandable advisories for their specific scenarios, underlining the state government’s guidelines about what they need to do before, during, and after disasters. To enhance user understanding, information is provided in both Odia and English. 

The SATARK system also allows users to provide feedback about forecast accuracy in their area, and uses machine learning algorithms to improve upon its advisory generation process. This information improves citizens’ disaster-preparedness, which could prove critical in their ability to minimise losses and injuries during calamities.

In Malaysia, TM ONE, the public sector and enterprise business solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), collaborated with the Royal Malaysian Navy and ICT company, Acasia, to develop Kesedaran Keselamatan Komuniti Maritim (K3M) or Maritime Community Security and Safety Awareness, a web app and a mobile app to deliver early warning and real time maritime hazard alerts. The K3M app is connected to various maritime authorities, and available for widespread use including commercial shipping companies, tourism operators, fishermen, and maritime recreational users. Users can also make emergency SOS calls that are routed to a Naval Operation Centre, which will coordinate assistance.

Enhanced Training Systems for Effective Crime Engagement

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is increasingly adopting technology-driven systems to help officers optimise their training and to maximise success when engaging with suspects.

In 2019, the SPF adopted the Range Enhanced Liver Firing Range System, a training aid that provides detailed information to officers during marksmanship practice. This system analyses each shooter’s posture, breathing, gaze fixation and weapons-handling and supplies real-time suggestions, helping officers improve the accuracy of subsequent shots.

The SPF also introduced the Impact Measurement Trainer, a training system to improve the self-defence skills of police trainees. The training system make use of force sensors in mannequins to precisely measure the location and strength of users’ strikes, then provide instant feedback for trainees to improve their techniques.

Such smart systems turn specific data into actionable insights for officers, improving training efficiency to ensure that police officers are able to effectively respond to conflicts.

Leveraging on cloud to support search and rescue operations

Meanwhile, Malaysian emergency response authorities are leveraging cloud computing platforms to improve search and rescue (SAR) operations. Working together with TM ONE, the emergency response agencies utilise the Search and Rescue Operation Coordination System (SAROCS) to support the planning, execution, management and coordination of SAR activities during an emergency.

In SAR operations, comprehensive and timely information is critical. The cloud-based SAROCS enables the data from multiple devices and systems to be integrated onto a single platform, allowing multiple SAR agencies to access crucial data to facilitate an operation remotely. The solution is equipped with a mobile application, which allows users connect to a secure Internet connection and access the main system database, providing on-the-go information to the users. For example, it can provide tracking information to the Rescue Coordination Centre to facilitate the deployment monitoring of search and rescue units by SAR coordinator.

When SAROCS is hosted in the cloud, the search and rescue units can benefit from advanced analytics and artificial intelligence-assisted capabilities powered by cloud to successfully facilitate an operation. For example, they can simulate or forecast oceanography and meteorological data to improve their understanding of search area conditions, which are essential in SAR operations.

The cloud in particular is playing a fundamental role in managing emergency response strategies at scale. While no government can guarantee to stop an emergency, the harnessing of technologies including cloud to gather and analyse massive amounts of information in real-time is equipping citizens and professionals to improve preparedness towards crises, respond more effectively and rapidly during emergency situations, minimise the impact of disasters, as well as improve recovery results.

Cloud ⍺ Series #12: Homegrown Cloud Professionals at Your Service

Nov 12, 2020
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No cloud migration is alike. However, by partnering the right partner with in-depth technical skills, knowledge and experience, any organisation can confidently make their migration journey smooth and securely.

No cloud migration is exactly alike. However, by partnering the right partner with in-depth technical skills, knowledge and experience that follow global best practices and compliance standards, any organisation can confidently make their migration journey smooth and secure.

TM ONE’s step-by-step guide to cloud migration

START

We diagnose and assess your readiness to migrate by:

  1. Facilitating the syndication with your stakeholders across business and IT to understand their motivations and desired outcomes
  2. Taking stock of your Digital Estate in
    1. Data
    2. Infrastructure
    3. Applications
  3. Assessing your risks and develop mitigation strategies
  4. Helping you define a cloud migration and adoption strategy (whether to maintain, migrate, or modernise), embedding cybersecurity and monitoring strategies

Guiding you through the development of the migration plan and project design by:

  1. Developing a process plan towards cloud from both tech and non-tech aspects
  2. Developing a migration solution and contingency plan based on the migration strategy
  3. Preparing all technical requirements and migration guide

Facilitating you through the migration execution:

  1. As you conduct enablement workshops for all stakeholders, getting everyone up to speed for migration
  2. As you prepare the digital assets and environment
    for migration
  3. As together we undertake the iterative process of assessing, deploying and releasing workloads according to planned waves or releases.

Retuning the migrated workloads towards your desired end state by

  1. Load testing migrated workloads and monitor performance and cost
  2. Retuning and reconfiguring migrated workloads to achieve optimised configuration and size
  3. Promoting workload to production upon your acceptance of performance and cost

COMPLETE

By implementing best practices in project management from start to end, TM ONE ensures a smooth migration journey for you.

We facilitate you in establishing and continuously building your cloud governance, which is aligned to your existing IT and corporate governance policies and other compliance regulations. Cloud governance guides the adoption process and helps to manage risks along the journey.

At TM ONE, our local certified cloud experts and end-to-end cloud professional capabilities enable us to support your cloud migration journey so you can focus on your business priorities.

HOMEGROWN SUPPORTEND-TO-END CLOUD SERVICESMIGRATION APPROACH
TM’s team of certified cloud professionals have a vast knowledge & experience of local migration, designing, developing, and maintaining data centres and cloud for decades.Our experts are with you throughout the migration process: from advisory, consultation, migration assessment, infrastructure design validation, migration services right up to managed services.TM ONE offers a vibrant and dynamic spectrum of migration services: Virtual to Virtual (V2V) Physical to Virtual (P2V) Physical to Physical (P2P) Virtual to anything (V2X)

For more information about Cloud Alpha’s cutting edge Professional Services please click here.

This infographic was published in The Edge weekly on 2nd Nov 2020.

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