NAO: An Effective Tool for STEM Education
Robots are becoming an integral part of our education system, and are finding their application in most segments of education from primary education to research and development. From the early years of scholarly formation to students with autism to higher education research, robots have shown to be impressive tools for Academia.
Introducing NAO, the most popular educational humanoid robot that has been deployed in over 70 countries around the world in over 6000 academic institutes catering to the needs of thousands of students and teachers. Moreover, NAO is the most utilized humanoid robot in research, with close to 50% of the research being done on robots for learning are being conducted with the use of NAO. He specializes in the Education Industry and is built as a programmable educational tool with seamless possibilities, but that’s far from its capabilities. NAO is also a teacher’s assistant, a student’s companion, a moderator, a platform, and the list goes on.
The gap between the number of students and the teaching staff is growing enormously, and which is making it harder for teachers to be able to personally interact with students. This is where NAO comes in. NAO acts as a substitute teacher and a moderator by catching the attention of children with its jubilant personality. The human-NAO interaction is made easier and interactive because of the extensive features of NAO and it’s human-like appearance and neutral expression, which allows it to interact with students seamlessly with intelligence and wit and helps the students interact freely.
Knowledge of STEM is vital from the early stages of one’s education. In most current education programs, however, STEM is introduced rather late, as late as secondary to higher education. But what if we were to tell you that STEM can be inculcated in the very early stages of learning? Yes, it’s possible thanks to NAO and it’s versatile nature! The basic curriculum can be spiced up by fusing it with NAO, who can not only deliver lectures but also perform actions and gesticulation to better understand the concepts. Language learning is also a vital part of the applications of NAO, where the fundamentals of a language can be taught to young learners with ease.
Applications designed for Primary and Secondary Education to implement STEM
A lot of applications have been developed to make the interactions between children and NAO easier. One such application is AskNAO, which is an application designed fundamentally for primary and secondary segments. It consists of a drag and drop structure containing bricks that are assigned various functions of talking, navigating, dancing, singing, etc. These bricks are fully customizable, where teachers and students can even design their own bricks. This application can be used with children as young as 4 years old. This opens many doors for teachers, who with the help of the robots, can focus on the students individually and enforce adaptive learning, making NAO a great source to make the class interactive and fun.
STEM can be easily integrated into this application. By interacting with the robot, basic concepts of STEM can be taught to children through the ‘learning by doing’ approach. As shown by a study conducted in Australia by AISSA, NAO can help develop the intellectual capacities of children from a very young age. In this study, NAO was integrated into the curriculum of 4 to 15-year-olds, which resulted in the development of not just computational abilities, but also empathy, curiosity, and also enhanced their problem-solving abilities. In secondary education, these applications can still be used at an advanced level, where the students can design their own bricks, and form complex sequences of actions. The fundamentals of sciences, like physics and mathematics, can be simplified by the use of NAO as they explore the complexity of how the robot is built.
The curriculum can be adapted to kill 2 birds with a stone. For example, after learning the basics of programming the robot, the students can be given a task to program a robot that will be used in the science class. This will help the students with both the skill of coding as well as foster a deep understanding of science. Doing this will also ease the work of the teachers, as the students develop autonomy and foster deep learning by doing.
In higher education, students can develop advanced skills in robot programming through our software Choregraphe, which uses Python. The students will be able to explore the complex concepts of Artificial intelligence like machine learning, deep learning, and NLP, with ease by using NAO. Thanks to its versatility, NAO can be programmed to perform almost any task one can think of.
All of this is just the beginning of the infinite possibilities of NAO, and how it can affect your life. NAO can be independently programmed and used as a tutor or perfectly integrated with the common core curriculum to spice things up and increase the learning graph from the early stages of learning.
You can find more details on the applications of NAO here.
SoftBank Robotics designs and manufactures interactive and friendly robots. Our aim since the beginning of our adventure has been to make robots accessible to all so that they become daily companions: “The Power of Robotics to Benefit Humanity”.
In the space of fewer than 10 years, we have become the leader of the humanoid robot market. More than 25,000 SoftBank Robotics robots – NAO and Pepper – are used in more than 70 countries, in various sectors, ranging from retail to tourism, health, and education.
In the Education sector, our robots have been a vital part of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through robotics. We also hold and participate in various robotics competitions and events around the world like NAO challenge, RoboCup, and AcaDay, etc. Our robots have been used in different researches by hundreds of researchers and educational institutes. We have been an eminent figure in specialized education, and are working closely with developers to provide innovative solutions.
To learn more about us and our robots click here.