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Robotics Education Hardware

Teaching With Robots 69

theodp writes "If you're a math, CS, or engineering grad, odds are you've seen your share of robot-like teaching — but never an actual robot teacher. Now, that's starting to change. Computer scientists are developing robots with social components that can engage people and teach them simple skills, including household tasks, vocabulary, elementary imitation and taking turns. Several countries have been testing teaching machines in classrooms. At USC, researchers have had their robot, Bandit, interact with autistic children. South Korea is 'hiring' hundreds of robots as teacher aides and classroom playmates and is experimenting with robots that would teach English."
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Teaching With Robots

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  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:14PM (#32867102) Homepage

    I realise there seems to be a rather unhealthy obsession with robots in japan and korea but this is just going too far. You want some clunky pre-programmed robot to pander to your whims and stroke your ego - fine. But don't try the same shit with kids - its not fair. Get someone in to look after these children. If they're autistic they NEED to interact with people, not a glorified PC FFS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:21PM (#32867158)

    With unemployment as high as it is, you want to replace all remaining human occupied jobs with robots? What is wrong with you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:21PM (#32867162)

    I'm autistic, and I can tell you the last thing autistic kids need teaching them how to act neurotypical is a robot mentor.

    The dirty secret of Autism Speaks and just about everything else (such as the developers of these robots) is that they advocate for exhausted parents, annoyed relatives, and the profit motive of Western medicine; they don't do anything for actual autistic people. []

  • by Tisha_AH ( 600987 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:27PM (#32867214) Journal

    If the robotic teaching of basic skills becomes commonplace it will be at the expense of human interaction.

    We already have too many people who are dysfunctional in society and lacking in the basic human skills of communications, emotions and compassion. I do not see this as much of an advancement, it is just a means of reducing the "human" component of our educational system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:53PM (#32867390)

    You're missing the point, which is that autistic kids desperately need to learn the essential life skills of neurotypical small talk, gossip, mindless conformity, and tolerance of the harassment that "teasing" is - all things neurotypicals take for granted. You're suggesting I could have learned these things from a horse?

    Also, for neurotypical parents and teachers, what "works" is what makes the child docile and compliant, not what actually produces happy, growing kids. Along those lines, ritalin (a methamphetamine derivative) "works" too. I will never forgive my parents, teachers, and childhood doctor for 20mg of meth a day for 2 years. It did just about what you'd expect.

  • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:46PM (#32867706) Homepage

    I'm sure the teacher's unions will bring some bullshit like this up.

    At every opportunity, the educators I work with chose to plug kids into technology and set them on auto-teach. Sewing the seeds of their own destruction...but when tech starts to replace teachers, we'll hear them scream bloody murder with your argument.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.