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Why Robots are Never Going to Fully Replace Teachers; Find out here!

It was found that robots are still insufficient to understand spoken utterances from young children

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Robots
New assistive robot to help elderly live independently. Pixabay

While social robots have the potential to become part of the educational infrastructure just like paper, white boards and computer tablets, they can never fully replace teachers, a new study suggests.

The findings showed that social robots are proving effective in the teaching of certain narrow subjects, such as vocabulary or prime numbers.

But, current technical limitations — particularly around speech recognition and the ability for social interaction — mean their role will largely be confined to that of teaching assistants or tutors, at least for the foreseeable future.

“In recent years, scientists have started to build robots for the classroom — not the robot kits used to learn about technology and mathematics, but social robots that can actually teach,” said lead author Tony Belpaeme, Professor from Britain’s University of Plymouth.

“This is because pressures on teaching budgets, and calls for more personalised teaching, have led to a search for technological solutions,” he added.

Robots
The findings showed that social robots are proving effective in the teaching of certain narrow subjects, such as vocabulary or prime numbers. Pixabay

According to Belpaeme, robots can help free up precious time for teachers, allowing them to focus on what people still do best — provide a comprehensive, empathic, and rewarding educational experience.

For the study, appearing in the Science Robotics, the team involved a review of more than 100 published articles, which have shown robots to be effective at increasing outcomes, largely because of their physical presence.

They found that robots are still insufficient to understand spoken utterances from young children.

Moreover, introducing social robots into the school curriculum would also pose significant logistical challenges and might in fact carry risks, with some children being seen to rely too heavily on the help offered by robots rather than simply using them when they are in difficulty.

“Next to the practical considerations of introducing robots in education, there are also ethical issues. How far do we want the education of our children to be delegated to machines? Overall, learners are positive about their experiences, but parents and teaching staff adopt a more cautious attitude,” Belpaeme said. (IANS)

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Delhi Government Working Towards Robotic Solutions For Cleaning Sewers, Septic Tanks

Robots to clean sewers, septic tanks in Delhi? Find it out here

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Robot, Reading Companion
FILE - A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai (VOA)

In an attempt to fully eradicate manual scavenging from the Indian capital, the Delhi government is working towards robotic solutions for cleaning sewers and septic tanks.

To achieve this goal, Delhi Cabinet Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam convened a meeting with experts from IIT, Delhi Technological University (DTU), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and Delhi Cantonment Board among others to discuss the possibilities and the need of robotic solution to sewer cleaning task, the government said on Thursday.

The idea was inspired from a Robot named Bandicoot, developed by Kerala-based start-up Genrobotics, that has been commissioned by municipal bodies in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

About 80 manual scavengers have been trained in these states to operate the robots in a bid to offset the loss of livelihood.

Bandicoot, a semi-automatic robot, only requires a human operator to stand on the street near the manhole.

technology addiction
It is a natural thing for man to become dependent on technology, and also addicted to it. Pixabay

“The machine with its many cameras, a robotic arm with 360 degree mobility, and a handy bucket to collect the waste does the work. The operator is only needed for navigation when the manhole is of non-standard size or there are multiple sewer lines below,” a statement said.

“The Delhi government has already taken up various efforts to stop the inhuman practice of manual scavenging and would soon introduce fully mechanised system to clean the sewage system and septic tanks. Still there is a need for robotic solutions for smaller lanes and by lanes where machines cannot go,” the Minister said.

During the meeting, experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) said the robot is not constructed for the condition of Delhi. So they suggested that the DJB approach the company for demonstration and feasibility to use such machine in Delhi.

Also Read- Tech Giant Google Ends Forced Arbitration For Employees Globally

While some experts suggested usage of censors in the manhole to check the status of toxic gases, some others suggested a database control room for various sewer line related data and a Helpline number for the same.

“The DJB has been asked to constitute a committee for implementation of various methods to use robot and other type of technology. The government will ensure funds to DJB for this purpose,” the Minister added. (IANS)