Every day it seems that there is a fresh news item about the use of robotics and AI in all aspects of business and personal life. Robots have been common in the manufacturing sector – car production relies heavily on them, their accuracy in carrying out repetitive tasks programmed for efficiency, and productive reliability ensured to support high quality and compliance at all times - but their increasing sophistication and miniaturisation has meant that their use outside of that sector has been growing. We now see robotic cleaners, companions, restaurant attendants, and for the lazy gardeners among us, lawn mowers.
This proliferation coupled with smarter AI models and their enthusiastic embedding into business and societal models begs the question: rather than fear this inevitable rise, how do we prepare our children to embrace this brave new hi-tech world, to control and manage the evolution in a way that allows humans and robots to co-exist without the former feeling threatened and overwhelmed by what is being touted as “the next super intelligence”?
It would seem that the right and obvious answer would be ‘the right education’; yet how many of our education systems are geared up to nurture a hi-tech generation? Do they have the right teaching tools? Have the teachers themselves been trained on this new domain, and have curricula been created that embeds these new areas as essential components?
When someone mentions STEM or STEAM labs, robots and school in the same sentence the image conjured up is of children racing their creations round a track, or of them building “weaponised” models and setting them upon each other. Clearly they will have learnt about engineering, automation and coding, but robotics has moved on from these simple applications that have formed the backbone of teaching for the last decade, and when we add AI, ML, LLMs to the mix then we have to consider whether the current teaching methods are adequate and relevant. While limited gamification is fine, Robotics and AI need to be more than one-off isolated activities slotted somewhere into the school timetable; they should be fully embedded into the curriculum, as distinct subjects of their own, and, also, to drive and underpin the teaching of the STEAM subjects in a fun, interactive and engaging way to support a rounded education which enables children to see what is happening around them and be part of the hi-tech revolution.
How do we, at Handy AV and Shape Robotics, do that?
Teaching STEAM should be fun, but it should also invite children to learn. They should not have spend half an hour of a lesson trying to build something, then spend 15minutes getting to grips with how to make it move and turn before they have to dismantle and pack away for the next cohort.
Shape Robotics believes in simplicity, modularity and speed.
Let me introduce you our Fable robots; these stylish, modular and codable robots are backed up by an serviced eco-system, including a teacher zone and learning platform, whose content is constantly evolving and expanding, and which can be downloaded by teachers and adapted for their classes.
These codable robots offer a hands-on and interactive way for students to learn howto code, with Fable Blockly providing a visual interface for beginners and then another which provides Python for more advanced coders. Rather than simply learning through lectures and textbooks, students can immediately see the results of their code in action as the robot moves and responds to their commands. This makes the learning experience more engaging and enjoyable, which, in turn, makes it more effective.
Secondly, codable robots can help students develop both basic and advanced coding skills. Students can start by learning the basics of block coding, such as programming logic and syntax, and then progress to more advanced concepts such as object-oriented programming and machine learning. This can help them build a strong foundation in coding that can be applied to a variety of fields in the future.
Lastly, codable robots can help promote creativity and problem-solving skills in students. As they learn how to code and program the robot, they are forced to think critically and creatively to solve problems and come up with new ideas. This can help them develop important skills that will be valuable in any field they choose to pursue.
In summary, our codable robots are imperative in the education system because they offer a hands-on and interactive way for students to learn how to code, help students develop both basic and advanced coding skills, and promote creativity and problem-solving skills. By introducing students to coding at a young age through codable robots, we can help prepare them for a digital future and provide them with valuable skills that will be useful in any field they choose to pursue.
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