What is Robotics?

Robotics refers to the design and application of robots, which are automated machines that accomplish a range of tasks. The first robots were integrated into factory assembly lines in order to streamline and increase the productivity of manufacturing, most notably for cars. Today, the integration of robots into mining, the military, and transportation has helped improved operations for industries by taking over tasks that are unsafe or tedious for humans. It is expected that the global robot population will double to four million by 2020, a shift that is expected to shape business models and economies all over the world. There is a substantial debate on how workers will continue to be affected by the global economy’s growing dependence on robots, especially now that robots are more autonomous, safer, and cheaper than ever. While robotics is at least four years away from being in mainstream use in education, its potential uses are starting to gain traction. Robotics programs are focusing on outreach efforts that promote robotics and programming as multi-disciplinary STEM learning that can make students better problem solvers for the 21st century. It is also clear that some students with spectrum disorders are more comfortable working with robots to develop better social, verbal, and non-verbal skills.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

Think this is being used mainly for teaching computing , and certain disciplinary subjects right now, and is not well explored yet in my views - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 11, 2016

Telepresence robots (mobile videoconference) can help students continue their studies while lying in a hospital bed https://storify.com/jpberthet/robotcampus-au-learninglab and https://www.ft.com/content/5e104ace-01e1-11e4-bb71-00144feab7de#axzz3CAoHSPwT - Jean-Pierre.Berthet Jean-Pierre.Berthet Oct 2, 2016This is becoming a fairly common use for students who are unable for a range of reasons to attend classes in the flesh.- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The (relatively) low cost and (relatively) high functionality of robots has opened up the door for experimentation in the same was as drones - we are only beginning to explore the possibilities. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Sep 16, 2016
  • Ethical problems regarding the use of machines as our slaves have been explored many times over in science fiction e.g. Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?, I Robot ,The Terminator and so on, and once they become truly sentient, we may need to take a long hard look at how we interact with them. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Sep 16, 2016 - gilly.salmon gilly.salmon Oct 5, 2016https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfkpiDo-bBY

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • Robots could be used more in monitoring labs, and assisting students. SUTD has just purchased one of these and is currently exploring - nacha_sockalingam nacha_sockalingam Sep 11, 2016
  • As yet unknown - as the technology develops and becomes cheaper, I have no doubt that we will find all sorts of weird and wonderful ways to use them. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Sep 16, 2016
  • humanoid type robots (e.g. NAO ) good for teaching basic programming and sparking off interest and fun. and why not?

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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