Ramblings about Social Robotics in Schools

Sometimes what I do as job can have some major personal pluses (I get to play with robots some of the time), one of these has been the opportunity to introduce people to social robots, and recently I have been lucky enough to managed to do this four times-  twice to my own computing students, but also to groups of primary school children in two events (see below). 

Apart from it's what I enjoyed doing; the social robots we are starting to see are great, but there is so much more that could be done. Who is going to develop this - possibly one of these children? Why not? It has taken nearly 40 years to get from R2D2 on the screen to some of the social robots we are seeing launched now, in another 40 years we might have something as bright as R2D2 (R2D2 was always brighter than C3PO). Why wouldn't one or more of these bright children or one of the students I teach, be the ones to contribute to this? They have the enthusiasm, with the changes in the National Curriculum in the UK they are developing some of the skills and asking the questions. Look at the work that work being done by Pi Foundation, the CamJam EduKit 3 robot kit (http://camjam.me/?page_id=1035) and especially products such as the OhBot (see bottom of the post for details of this robot) as just as a few examples of how this is being developed.

Event 1.

In an in-reach STEAM activity day I have had the opportunity to show off two NAO robots in action to a group of 8-years olds. As well presenting a short presentation on social robots (see below). By the way Red and Smurf are the nicknames for the two robots.

Event 2. 

A talk on Social Robotics (with a little help from a Red friend) to an audience of primary school children as part of Lab_13's Lectures at Wollaston School, Northamptonshire. 

Red performed, walking with three of the children and the presentation included discussion about the robots JIBO and Buddy that are expected this year. 

Changes need to the presentation

A change I would like to make is to bring along an OhBot (a bit like the one in the video below) as well as including OhBot in the revised presentation slides.


All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with.