How Robots could help in schools and kindergartens

This concept provides an overview of the humanoid information and service robots Reem” and Wakamaru” in schools and kindergartens and how they can improve daily school life. To use them efficiently you have to improve some specifications of the robots. For REEM” attention was paid to the improvement of its transport properties for goods and valuables, but also to the specific properties of a school. Wakamaru” would be used in a children’s kindergarten. For “Wakamaru” research was on improving its security measures and how it deals with children.

The two robots used as the basis of this concept, of humanoid service robots, are Reem” (PAL Robotics, 2010), the information and transport robot, and the communication robot Wakamaru” (Mitsubishi, 2003). REEM” supports the school children, transporting their books or schoolbags, when they move to another class, or providing them with information on the big screen on its chest. These two robots also have to work in complex buildings.

Reem
Reem
Wakamaru

To use “Reem” correctly, I would improve the standard specifications as follows: Instead of the little space at the back I would install a large basket with a lockable lid to stow all the books and the schoolbag. If you combine the robot with an additional small extendable drawer, with the dimensions 30cmx30cmx8cm, below the touch screen, children can deposit their valuables. I also would make different faces, so every child can choose one it likes. They should also be painted in various colors. To ensure trouble-free operation, I would combine the robot with a bigger battery with a battery life of 12 hours. Then you can be sure that the robot can endure an entire school day and does not run low on battery. An elevator must easily be possible for the robot, so it can follow the child everywhere.

To use “Wakamaru” correctly, I would improve the standard specifications, as follows: All hard plastic parts have to be covered by soft foam to reduce the risk of an injury to young children. On the chest of the robot I would install a tablet, to give the child an additional control panel, in addition to voice control, e.g. for educational games. Instructors would transmit the commands, via voice, to the robot and “Wakamaru” would execute the instructions with the children. Of course the robot must have a lot of security measures, so that when it has contact with children, no one can get harmed. As the robot has to move on a playing field, its movements must be programmed to drive around without any problems. As it is possible for it to fall over while playing, it must be able to stand up on its own. Moreover I would combine the robot with a larger battery, which holds out, for an entire kindergarten day of 12 hours.

Walker Eduard

Student at Technikum Wien University

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