Lead­ing the revo­lu­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Bms Wellness -

THE In­ter­net of Things, aug­mented re­al­ity, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) and au­to­ma­tion are some de­vel­op­ments that have shaped ad­vance­ments in global tech­nol­ogy and the econ­omy.

Build­ing on the pre­vi­ous in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion that changed the world’s dig­i­tal land­scape, the Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion com­bines the phys­i­cal, dig­i­tal and bi­o­log­i­cal worlds – cre­at­ing a new range of tech­nolo­gies that are hu­man-friendly.

Tunku Ab­dul Rah­man Uni­ver­sity Col­lege (TAR UC) is em­brac­ing the Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion by con­tin­u­ing to adapt its pro­grammes to en­sure stu­dents will be able to keep abreast of the lat­est de­vel­op­ments and tech­nolo­gies.

TAR UC aims to pre­pare stu­dents for the dig­i­tal econ­omy of the fu­ture so that they re­main highly sought-af­ter across in­dus­tries upon grad­u­a­tion.

Last year, TAR UC was recog­nised as a Premier Dig­i­tal Tech Uni­ver­sity by the Malaysia Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Cor­po­ra­tion and the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry.

Re­al­is­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of robotics and AI in fu­ture in­dus­tries, TAR UC’s Fac­ulty of Com­put­ing and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy (FOCS) re­vis­its and en­hances its cur­ric­ula pe­ri­od­i­cally so that com­put­ing stu­dents are equipped with the skills and knowl­edge re­quired by the in­dus­tries of to­mor­row.

A new de­vel­op­ment to the cur­ric­ula in­volves a ro­bot named Nao. Study­ing Nao in classes al­lows stu­dents to learn about state-of-theart hu­manoid ro­bot de­vel­op­ment at FOCS’ com­pu­ta­tional in­tel­li­gence re­search lab­o­ra­tory.

“Nao and other in­ter­ac­tive ro­bots can po­ten­tially be com­mer­cialised in many in­dus­tries across Malaysia,” says Dr Tang Tiong Yew, se­nior lec­turer from the Depart­ment of Com­puter Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics in FOCS.

“Stu­dents use Nao as a medium through which ad­vanced AI soft­ware com­po­nents can be lever­aged and pro­grammed to sim­u­late nat­u­ral con­ver­sa­tions be­tween ro­bots and hu­mans.”

The op­por­tu­nity to work on their fi­nal-year project with Nao was be­yond ex­cit­ing for third-year Bach­e­lor of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy (Hons) in Soft­ware Sys­tems De­vel­op­ment stu­dents, Yap Jin Zhe and Yap Kok Hau.

“In the fu­ture, in­dus­tries will rely on soft­ware and dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. Work­ing on Nao gives me a deeper in­sight into robotics, which will make me more em­ploy­able as I pos­sess the ba­sic knowl­edge and sought-af­ter skills that em­ploy­ers look for,” says Kok Hau.

“TAR UC’s com­pre­hen­sive fa­cil­i­ties fully sup­port the com­ple­tion of our fi­nal-year project with Nao. Our project su­per­vi­sor, Dr Tang, is also highly knowl­edge­able in the field of robotics and has been guid­ing us through­out the process.”

Agree­ing with his team­mate, Jin Zhe says, “Work­ing on Nao lets me mas­ter a new pro­gram­ming lan­guage and other skills that I be­lieve will ben­e­fit me in the fu­ture when more in­dus­tries start adopt­ing robotics tech­nol­ogy.

“We have been get­ting hands-on ex­po­sure on robotics and process au­to­ma­tion. It gives us in-depth knowl­edge of how the ro­bot it­self func­tions and how to con­fig­ure the soft­ware that con­trols it.”

TAR UC’s FOCS of­fers diploma and de­gree pro­grammes in com­puter sci­ence, in­for­ma­tion sys­tems and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

FOCS pro­grammes are dual-award thanks to the fac­ulty’s aca­demic col­lab­o­ra­tion with Camp­bell Uni­ver­sity in the United States. Stu­dents of these pro­grammes re­ceive two cer­ti­fi­ca­tions upon grad­u­a­tion – one from TAR UC and the other from Camp­bell Uni­ver­sity.

At­trac­tive schol­ar­ships such as aca­demic merit and sib­ling dis­counts are avail­able from TAR UC for el­i­gi­ble stu­dents.

TAR UC rep­re­sen­ta­tives will be present at ma­jor ed­u­ca­tion fairs to meet prospec­tive stu­dents who want to know more about the in­sti­tu­tion and its pro­grammes. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.tarc.edu.my

Yap Kok Hau (in black) and Yap Jin Zhe con­fig­ur­ing soft­ware that con­trols Nao’s move­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Tang, in­ter­ac­tive ro­bots such as Nao can po­ten­tially be com­mer­cialised across var­i­ous in­dus­tries.

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