Robot potpourri: Nannies, teachers, and companions

Today's collection of potpourri items inadvertently coalesced into how robots are beginning to weave themselves into our lives; literally from infancy to old age.

[Gaurdian] 'This is awful': robot can keep children occupied for hours without supervision

Robots do not have the sensitivity or understanding needed for childcare. 
The use of artificial intelligence to aid student’s learning dates back to 1980s. It was the time when major technology companies like Lego, Leaf, and Androbot introduced the robots to simplify the study and related activities.

Since then, the robotic technology has gone through various changes to become more advance and sophisticated. Meanwhile, a new term, educational robots, was coined for these “classroom robots.”

As I reflect back on my own education, I did best in subjects where I admired and respected my teachers.  If this quality is crucial to student-teacher bonding, it suggests that these robotic teachers need to be designed to elicit such emotions.

[CNBC] A wall-crawling robot will soon teach Harvard students how to code

Harvard computer science professor Radhika Nagpal is hoping to use a robotic toy she helped develop, Root, to teach coding languages like Python and Javascript in her undergraduate courses at Harvard.

The Root prototype is already being used in Harvard research labs. And the Root will be widely available this spring.

[Guardian] In an age of robots, schools are teaching our children to be redundant

Interesting story on how being different from a robot is important to survive in the future workplace but how todays’s schools are designed to produce a 19th century factory workforce.

In the future, if you want a job, you must be as unlike a machine as possible: creative, critical and socially skilled. So why are children being taught to behave like machines?

[Intuition robotics] A companion for the elderly

Older adults value their independence and want to be able to live in the homes where they have lived in for years. Home robots can help them to live independently. These robots can do a number of things, including reminding older adults to take medications to exercising. Check out ElliQ, a robot developed by a start up in Israel for older adults.

ELLI•Q™ is an active aging companion that keeps older adults active and engaged. ELLI•Q seamlessly enables older adults to use a vast array of technologies, including video chats, online games and social media to connect with families and friends and overcome the complexity of the digital world.

ELLI•Q inspires participation in activities by proactively suggesting and instantly connecting older adults to digital content such as TED talks, music or audiobooks; recommending activities in the physical world like taking a walk after watching television for a prolonged period of time, keeping appointments and taking medications on time; and connecting with family through technology like chat-bots such as Facebook Messenger.