The tiny island nation of Singapore continues to make headlines with its ambitions to become the world’s first smart nation.  It hosted the Smart Nations Innovation conference this month along with related events allowing the city-state to boast its growing technological prowess as it attempts to entice global talent and money to invest in Singapore. Start-ups and scientists  from the city-state and overseas  showcased cutting-edge gadgets and gizmos that could be a part of daily life in the future.

1. Driverless Electric Car (SMART)

Meet Scot – a driverless electric car developed by scientists at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). They’re hoping to provide mobility-on-demand to the island city’s elderly and ageing population. The small team behind Scot and several other autonomous vehicles exemplifies that one needn’t be a cashed-up tech giant to create such innovation.

2. 3-D Printed Bionic Limbs & Cars


3-D printing is taking the world by storm and it also appears to be disrupting the world of prosthetic limbs. Open Bionics, a Bristol-based start-up, aims to help amputees worldwide with their open-source 3D-printed robotic hands.

“The problem is the really amazing bionic hands were way too expensive and quite heavy to use. We’re talking up to 100,000 pounds. So what we’ve done is we’ve created a bionic device, it’s half the weight of leading bionic hands and will cost under 1000 pounds – so there’s a huge price difference and it’s much faster to produce and manufacture because we use a 3D printer, it enables to produce the hand in a few days,” Samantha Payne, COO of Open Bionics told Technode.


Open Bionics is aiming to release their products to market next year, which can come in your color of choice or even blinged out in Swarovski crystals.

On the topic of 3D printing, check out this concept car developed by undergraduate students are Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. It’s the country’s first urban solar electric car made with over 150 parts, which were 3D printed and assembled to form the body over a four-month timeframe.

3. Floppy Autonomous Sea Robots


Developed by SMART scientists, these  marine robots could be the solution to better monitoring climate change or helping to prevent algae blooms. Earlier this year, a deadly algae bloom killed around 600 tonnes of fish in Singapore.

These robo-fish, made of silicon, autonomously glide through the water tracking parameters including temperature, salinity and acidity. Inspired by nature- the marine robots are able to provide constant surveillance for a relatively low cost and less energy; currently data about oceans is gathered by buoys, ships or satellites.

4. The Huawei “Eye Robot”

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Huawei’s exploring ways to commercialize its “Eye Robot”, which was initially developed for internal use. The 1.6-meter robot comes with an HD camera and can patrol pre-programed routes so that it can monitor areas with limited security resources.

5. Smart Utensils

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Virtual reality seems to have penetrated the sense of taste.  Smart utensils, aim to reduce or eliminate the use of condiments in our food by digitally enhancing taste sensations. According to the team of scientists from the National University of Sinapore and Keio University , consumers must simply place their tongues on the silver electrode on the smart utensils while eating or drinking for a more flavorful experience. Such technology could be particularly beneficial for those that suffer from diabetes or heart problems.

Image Sources: Singapore Infocomm Development Authority & Technode

Sareena is a tech writer based in between Hong Kong and Manila. She covers start-ups and tech happenings in Hong Kong. Write to her:

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