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How Will Service Robots Fit Into Education?

You’ve heard of online classrooms, but what about robotic teachers? Once COVID-19 is behind us, and classes are back in sessions, don’t be surprised if your child comes home and tells you there was a robot in their class. That robot just might have been standing in for a teacher or another student who couldn’t be in the room.

Service robot manufacturers have been working hard to overcome the challenges of deploying these machines. The development and technology often come with high costs and are sometimes hard to fit into a compact form that will not intimidate students. But as advancements are made, it’s clear the following uses are worth the investment.

Service Robots in the Classroom

Due to severe injuries, health conditions, and disease, a student may be kept from going to school with fellow students. To keep the student from missing out on their studies and social interaction, a service robot may go in their place. At home, the student observes what’s going on in class by audio and video feed, and they can even communicate with others in the class.

Finding teachers can be difficult for schools, especially those in less desirable districts or remote areas. Last-minute call-ins can leave a class without a teacher for the day. But telepresence robots can help teachers and substitutes fill in from anywhere. Cameras and sensors take the place of the teacher’s eyes and ears and can even integrate with tablets or video monitors.

Service Robots in the Home

Students with autism can have a hard time paying attention in class when they are confused by the non-verbal expressions of other students. Robots can make a great teacher for students with this struggle. A humanoid service robot is put in the student’s home. The robot can be controlled by a teacher or can even teach on its own. It can even detect sounds and gestures.

A service robot can also serve as a tutor or a peer in a student’s home. As a tutor, the robot can teach and quiz a student on the topics they are having trouble with in the classroom. The service robot can also take the place of a novice. Students can be asked to explain a topic or teach it to their robotic peer. This reinforces the student’s understanding.

To learn more about how service robots can, and are, interacting with your world, visit the Robotics.org page on Service Robots.


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