Robotics in education constitutes an expanding domain wherein robots assume the role of instructors, effectively imparting diverse subjects to students. These technological entities are equipped with sophisticated human-like facial features and emotion-perceiving capabilities, fostering a truly engaging learning environment. Notably, robots adeptly fulfill various roles, such as teaching assistants, personal tutors, small group leaders, and peer learners. While their prominence is particularly evident in STEM education, it is noteworthy that robots also exhibit proficiency in disseminating knowledge within humanities disciplines, including language learning. Additionally, their capabilities of automating various tasks can provide teachers and students with an entirely new way of approaching learning. Here are the 5 best robots widely used in the educational field that have revolutionized learning.
WHAT IT COVERS
- 1. Robots for language learning
- 1.1 NAO Robot
- 2. Robotics in STEM education
- 2.1 Thymio
- 3. Robots as a classroom companion
- 3.1 Pepper, the humanoid robot
- 4. Robotics for special education
- 4.1 Beep
- 5. Robots for social learning
- 5.1 Tega by MIT
- 6. The future of robots in education
ROBOTICS FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING
Robotics for language learning represents a cutting-edge and innovative approach to enhancing the acquisition and comprehension of linguistic skills. By integrating robots into the educational landscape, students are presented with a unique and engaging learning experience. These robotic language tutors are equipped with advanced language processing and comprehension technologies, enabling them to interact with learners in a highly interactive and human-like manner.
NAO educational robot
Robotics can be an engaging and effective tool for language learning, and the NAO robot, in particular, has shown great promise in this area. Using its humanoid form and expressive abilities, NAO can provide learners with various linguistic interactions and feedback. For example, NAO can read stories to students, ask them comprehension questions, engage in conversation and pronunciation exercises, and even recognize and correct grammar and vocabulary errors. Additionally, NAO’s immersive and interactive features help to create an engaging and fun learning environment, which is key to fostering motivation and skill acquisition in language learners. Students can benefit from a more personalized, adaptive, and enjoyable educational experience by incorporating robotics into language learning.
Another great use of the NAO robot in fostering cognitive and social skills for children with autism spectrum disorder is a subject of many ongoing studies. We have also published a research paper on how NAO is used for ASD children and how students perceive it. Read it below.
ROBOTS FOR STEM EDUCATION
Incorporating robotics into the learning process exposes students to hands-on experiences that encourage problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. These intelligent machines serve as interactive teaching aids, stimulating students’ curiosity and fostering a deeper understanding of STEM principles through practical application.
Thymio is a small, programmable robot designed to teach coding to children. Created by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Thymio teaches children basic coding concepts in a fun and interactive way. It also comes with various sensors to detect objects and avoid obstacles, making it a perfect tool for teaching robotics and programming.
ROBOTS AS CLASSROOM COMPANION
Robots can assist educators in individualizing instruction, providing personalized feedback, and catering to diverse learning styles. Their presence also encourages student participation, curiosity, and enthusiasm, ultimately contributing to a more stimulating and effective educational journey.
Pepper, a humanoid robot for education
Pepper is a humanoid robot for education manufactured by SoftBank Robotics. It is designed to interact with humans and perform various functions, including teaching and entertainment. Pepper has been used in classrooms to teach students different subjects, including math and science. Since it is a social robot, Pepper can understand and adapt to students’ emotions, making learning fun and exciting. Princess Nourah University (PNU) CCIS college introduced Pepper to offload their faculty members for more important tasks and ensure that PNU faculty members & students can get the most benefits from using the robotics system.
ROBOTICS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
Autism and a range of neurodevelopmental disorders are characterized by challenges impacting cognitive development, social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors or interests. To address these difficulties, ongoing research explores various treatment approaches, with robots playing a significant role in healthcare and education. The advances in robotics have offered valuable contributions, paving the way for innovative interventions to support individuals with ASD, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being and quality of life.
Beep is a robot designed to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) develop social skills. Beep uses artificial intelligence (AI) to interact with children and teach social cues like eye contact, greetings, and turn-taking. Beep’s interactive nature makes learning social skills fun and less intimidating for children with ASD.
ROBOTICS FOR SOCIAL LEARNING
Robots designed for social learning have emerged as powerful tools for fostering interpersonal skills and communication abilities. These specialized robots facilitate interactive and engaging social interactions, providing a safe and non-judgmental environment for learners to practice and refine their social skills.
Tega, a social robot platform by MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a social robot platform called Tega. This particular robot is a learning aid that encourages kids to participate in educational activities by, among other things, making them more entertaining. Another PRG project uses the company’s robots to aid children in learning a second language.
THE FUTURE OF ROBOTS IN EDUCATION
Educators may not have a choice regarding incorporating robotics into education. With the added challenges posed by pandemic disruptions, human migrations, and limited resources, the need for innovative solutions has become even more pressing.
A UNESCO report has highlighted that the world requires an additional 69 million teachers by 2030 to achieve global education objectives.
With their proficiency in handling STEM subjects and facilitating structured interactions, robots are increasingly seen as potential assets in education. They are also making strides in addressing the social and emotional aspects of learning. However, educators must exercise caution and prudence while contemplating the adoption of robotics in education, as the impact on children’s social-emotional development remains uncertain. It is essential to strike a balance between leveraging the benefits of robotics and ensuring students’ well-rounded growth in all dimensions of their education.
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