We are in a period where educational technologies are changing rapidly. Blackboards are replaced by smart boards and books are for tablets. The city of Bangalore in India takes it one step further: Robot teachers.
Bangalore, the capital of the state of Karnataka in India, is called the Silicon Valley of Asia. The recent development in a school also supports the definition. Robot teachers began to teach students at Indus International School. Although they won’t replace the real teachers, they assist them in the lessons and answer the questions frequently asked by the students.
“Our robots impart lessons daily in five subjects to about 300 students in Classes 7-9 in four sections by turns. They also interact with them and respond to questions in the subjects,” said Vignesh Rao, Indus International School’s Chief Design Officer.
Interacting robots are programmed to answer frequently asked questions from students. Robot teachers can answer students’ questions thanks to the support of artificial intelligence. AI-powered robots teaches on Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History and Physics. The human-machine teacher team consisting of a teacher, student and robot, is defined as “Collaborative Learning Model”.
Mr Rao and his 17-member team have designed and built the three robots in-house from light-weight 3D-printed materials with imported smart servo motors. These robots emulate human-like gestures while delivering the lessons in the classroom.
Robot Teachers Welcomed by Students
“Robot teachers were highly welcomed by the students. They think that the collaboration between human teachers and robots improves the learning process. In this way, the human teacher can devote more time to the child and personalize the education.” said Arjun Ray, Chief Executive of Indus Trust.
The school, the first of its kind, aims to extend the pilot project to other subjects and expand its scale. The school is also in the process of applying for an international patent to protect the intellectual property of the humanoid robot.
It is possible to say that the understanding of education will change with the robot teachers. Together, we will observe how education and technology cooperation will produce results.