Robotics in teaching: The next big thing
We have read and seen what robots can do. Well now, robots can be used enhance the teaching- learning process following a live demonstration by the University of Nairobi’s Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in partnership with the Institute of Psychology at the University of Komblez-Landau Germany. This is already happening in China.
While teaching, the lecturer connects to the robot and shares reading materials with the students. The robot grabs the students’ attention and ensures that they are actively involved as they can ask questions and the lecturer can answer them easily. It has a battery span of two hours when it is constantly in motion but can last up to eight hours if it is immobile. It can change sizes meaning it can be taller or shorter. One of its major advantages is that it can detect obstacles hence cannot be easily damaged. It works perfectly with a good Wi-Fi connection.
The robot aims to breach the gap between different technologies by bringing them together. It also aims at improving social interactions between different people. For instance when friends plan to meet and either one or two cannot make it, they can connect to the robots in order for them to be part of the meeting.
Students at the University of Nairobi can have joint lectures with students from the University of Komblez-Landau using the robot. Students can also easily attend seminars whether in Kenya or Germany.
Some of the improvements suggested by the audience is that since it cannot use the stairs or elevator it should be improved in order to be able to do that. It should also be improvised to accommodate a sim-card so that it does not work using Wi-Fi only but one can also buy bundles and connect it to the internet.
Academic institutions are experimenting with new ways of teaching - a need that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual teaching and learning became more popular. A new area of exploration is robotics. Robotics is an easy and interesting method of making learners interested in a subject.