Can robots replace teachers in colleges and universities?

Machine learning is considered an integral aspect of the global future learning environment. Incorporating human learning features into the field of robotics can allow robots to deliver the integrated knowledge to students studying in colleges or universities.

The use of social robots to teach students is still in the experimental stage. Is there any possibility that social robots might take over our educational system to replace human teachers? Read on to find out.

How robots can be used in classrooms as teachers?

Using humanoid robots in classrooms is considered a step above telepresence, where teachers can remotely stay connected to students with the help of a robot. In this scenario, a teacher can participate in a learning session by being present virtually through a display mechanism.

The choice of robots that can be used in a classroom area typically depends on the age group of the students and field of study conducted. Various types of robots are being used as teachers in the classroom, such as:

  • Boe-bot robots – These are simple robots whose main components consist of a microprocessor placed on wheels. Based on the program incorporated into their system, boe-bots can detect the distance from an object, navigate and steer by sensing light. These robots are also equipped with light and sound mechanisms to report contact sensor status and escape edges of a room.
  • Advanced toolkits – Smaller robots installed with advanced toolkits are generally used to deliver robotics or computer science lessons. The toolkits are designed to be physically handled by students to gain hands-on learning experience on a wide range of topics.
  • Humanoids – Humanoids are human-like robots that are more feasible for students to interact with. These are typically employed to deliver language lessons as they possess the ability to give real-time feedback. The physical shape of the robots (similar to humans), plays a vital role in resolving issues related to shyness, reluctance, confidence and frustration among students.

How do robots teach?

Currently, robots are not being used to replace teachers from their classrooms altogether, but just to supplement them partly or during their absence. Colleges and universities are likely to use robots as learning tools and not teachers.

The speech recognition software installed in the robots helps them interpret what their human counterpart is trying to convey. This leads to the enhancement of reading and comprehending abilities of robots. Robot teachers are also equipped with projectors that allow them to discuss the subject matter in an interesting way, which helps in building curiosity among students.

What are the advantages of robot teachers?

  • Interacting with a robot teacher can help students grasp technological skills in a better way;
  • Robot teachers are cost-effective, in the context that they do not need to get paid, because they simply deliver the duties in accordance with the program installed into their system;
  • They are typically programmed with updated information, therefore deliver students with the latest methodologies pertaining to any business sector;
  • Owning a robot teacher is much more affordable than a human tutor and students are typically enthusiastic about getting mentored by them;
  • They can project computer displays from any corner of a classroom that they are positioned at.

What are the disadvantages of robot teachers?

  • Most robots require charging to function smoothly, which may lead to spending on electricity in a huge quantity;
  • As robot teachers do not have feelings, they will not be able to help you if you going through a rough emotional period;
  • To enable the use of robot software and hardware, classrooms must be equipped with high-quality infrastructure for the use of electricity and internet connection;
  • Robot teachers will not be able to develop creative or innovative ideas to help students understand a particular concept, neither can they provide students with critical feedback;
  • They will not be able to determine whether the concerns of students are due to their personal issues or due to their class performance and therefore will not be able to encourage them regarding their career development.

When can robots replace humans?

Classrooms dependent solely on robotics comes along with certain drawbacks pertaining to social issues, which includes:

  • Privacy
  • developmental hindrances
  • Rise in unemployment
  • Technical deficiencies.

An educational robot can be employed in the development of the design and structure of learning programs, as it involves the implementation of expensive technologies. Employing such technologies as an alternative to human instruction across the globe, might be a difficult process.

Furthermore, if the entire teaching curriculum is based on computer programs, it can make human teaching seem unnecessary. This is because of the related technological limitations that are associated, like inaccurate speech or emotion recognition.

Although robots can act as engaging educational tools within classrooms, it might be unlikely for them to replace humans as teachers, any time soon!

Want to learn about such futuristic learning options? You can browse through similar interesting articles here.

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