Singapore has launched an in-house unit to use robotics and sensors in public service delivery.

Headed by Mark Lim of the Government Digital Services, the unit will operate as a “skunkworks,” working behind the scenes to test out new technologies and trial them in public services.

Speaking to GovInsider, Singapore’s GCIO – Chan Cheow Hoe – said that “digital isn’t just about software, it includes UX, data, geospatial, and we’re going to add a small team there that do ‘things’.”

He added that things – meaning sensors – “by themselves are not very smart. It is something that is software driven.” The existing software developers are therefore best placed to test this equipment, he believes, and prove technology’s value to the broader public sector.

Singapore’s Government Digital Services launched two years ago with 8 people and now has “one hundred plus” employees, he said. The Infocomm Development Authority is expanding their dedicated facility – The Hive – to cope with double the numbers, converting an additional floor by July.

Read the full interview with Singapore’s GCIO to find out more.