Robotics is one of the pillars of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0). Through continuous research and development (R&D), robots have been transformed from conventional machines of connected mechanical parts, electronics, and electrical components to intelligent machines that are capable of making their own decision. According to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Malaysia has targeted a total ratio of 195 robots compared to 10,000 human workforces by 2030 which undeniably requires a huge effort from all related parties. Designing, prototyping, handling and fabricating intelligent robots requires in-depth knowledge of integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). To ensure Malaysia is on pace with other countries in IR 4.0 technology development, a sufficient number of advanced robotic experts are urgently needed. One of the ways is to ensure that sufficient enrolment of students to STEM related programs is guaranteed. However, apart from the trend of decreasing interest in STEM programs, we are now facing a new dilemma because more than 70% of secondary school graduates show no interest to further their studies to a higher level of education.
The Challenge: Robotics is an example of a system that requires the integration of STEM knowledge. However, many students view this knowledge as complex and difficult to learn which eradicates their interest in STEM related programs. How in short term and long term we can ensure that we have sufficient experts in robotics fields? How do attract students to these fields?