AI and robotics growing rapidly in Thailand

Thailand’s robotics and artificial intelligence capabilities are growing by leaps and bounds thanks to its role in global supply chains and innovations sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Heffx, an American website reporting on business and markets.

“Having already reached the advanced development stage for the Internet of Things, machinery, information and communication technology, and electronics, Thailand has strong foundations in the automation and robotics supply chain,” Prof. Jack Heffernan wrote on the Heffx site.

Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and digital industries are priority sectors in the government’s national strategy named Thailand 4.0. The 20-year plan seeks to raise the Kingdom’s level of development and competitiveness by focusing on advanced technologies and green and sustainable growth.

Thailand had the highest number of industrial robots within the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2019, with about 3,000 units up and running, according to the International Federation of Robotics.  The Kingdom accounts for almost 1 percent of the total 373,000 industrial robots in operation globally.

“Thailand’s service robot industry has also grown by leaps and bounds with a proliferation of innovations addressing the more pronounced needs of caring for the elderly and providing healthcare services in the COVID-19 pandemic era,” Heffernan wrote.

“The country’s globally competitive supply chains, most notably in the automotive, food and food processing, and electronics industries, have boosted the demand for industrial automation and robotics as businesses embrace their transformative effects on productivity,” he added.

The International Federation of Robotics has forecast that Thailand’s use of automated guide vehicles to serve logistical roles across factories, warehouses, and service providers including hospitals will grow by around 60 percent per year to over 700,000 units by 2022.

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