Schiffer, S.; Ferrein, A. ERIKA—Early Robotics Introduction at Kindergarten Age. Multimodal Technologies Interact.2018, 2, 64.
Schiffer, S.; Ferrein, A. ERIKA—Early Robotics Introduction at Kindergarten Age. Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2, 64.
In this work we report on our effort to design and implement an early introduction to basic robotics principles for children at kindergarten age. The humanoid robot Pepper, which is a great platform for human-robot interaction experiments, was presenting the lecture by reading out the contents to the children making use of its speech synthesis capability. One of the main challenges of this effort was to explain complex robotics contents in a way that pre-school children could follow the basic principles and ideas using examples from their world of experience. A quiz in a Runaround-game-show style after the lecture activated the children to recap the contents they acquired about how mobile robots work in principle. Besides the thrill being exposed to a mobile robot that would also react to the children, they were very excited and at the same time very concentrated. What sets apart our effort from other work is that part of the lecturing is actually done by a robot itself and that a quiz at the end of the lesson is done using robots as well. To the best of our knowledge this is one of only few attempts to use Pepper not as a tele-teaching tool, but as the teacher itself in order to engage pre-school children with complex robotics contents. We got very positive feedback from the children as well as from their educators.
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