Robot Teachers – Part One

Robot teachers in classrooms and for online education?
Judge for yourself.

Just sharing an article in New Scientist that caught my attention: Mind-reading robot teachers keep students focused

An automated system that detects when online pupils are distracted or snoozing and then uses tricks to keep them alert

WE ALL remember dozing off during a boring class at school. A robotic teacher that monitors students’ attention levels and mimics the techniques human teachers use to hold their pupils’ attention promises to end the snoozing, especially for students who have their lessons online. Tests indicate the robot can boost how much students remember from their lessons.
 
 
The article mentions the Wakamaru Robot. Here’s a demo
 

 

 
Students at the Kudan Elementary School in downtown Tokyo were told a special teacher would help them with their science class.

But few expected the teacher would need three grown men to help her up to the podium or need special programming to talk.

Saya, the substitute teacher, is a robot.

Built by Professor Hiroshi Kobayashi of Tokyo University of Science, he says shes not meant to take away the jobs of teachers.

[Hiroshi Kobayashi, Tokyo University Professor]:
“We are not looking at making something that will take over teachers, but rather our main reason for building this robot is to use new technology to teach children about technology.”

But Saya may be able to help in schools where there is a shortage of teachers.

[Hiroshi Kobayashi, Tokyo University Professor]:
“We are not looking at making something that will take over teachers, but rather our main reason for building this robot is to use new technology to teach children about technology.”

But Saya may be able to help in schools where there is a shortage of teachers.

[Hiroshi Kobayashi, Tokyo University Professor]:
“In the countryside and in some small schools, there are children who do not have the opportunity to come into contact with new technology, and also there are few teachers out there that can teach these lessons, so we also hope to be able to develop this robot so it can be remotely controlled to teach these classes.”

Saya, was a hit with the children.

[Nanako Iijima, Student]:
“Its so much more fun than regular classes.”

Most students were mesmerized by the robot.

[Masaru Tabata, Student]:
“It was great seeing the robot moving and speaking.”

But the class teacher was not convinced Saya was ready to go full time.

[Akito Fukuda, Science Teacher]:
“I think on the one hand I am impressed that they’ve got robots to go this far, but on the other hand they still have a long way to research before they create a truly robotic teacher.”

The curiosity of the children did not stop after the class.
 
 
Related topic:

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

 

 
 
 

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About benvitalis

math grad - Interest: Number theory
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