THE RISE OF RO­BOTS

Stu­dents should not be afraid of tech­nol­ogy. Ed­u­ca­tional ro­bot­ics can be used to en­hance their learn­ing.

India Today - - TECHNOLOGY - BY TARUN BHALLA

Due to the con­stant stream of ad­vance­ments be­ing made in the field of ro­bot­ics, we’re fast be­com­ing com­fort­able with the idea of ro­bots in our day-to-day lives. Think of com­plex med­i­cal pro­ce­dures made sim­ple and the bots that help us fin­ish our daily chores such as vac­u­um­ing, wash­ing dishes or en­joy­ing a hot cup of cof­fee. That’s not all. Once you ap­ply the con­cept of ro­bot­ics to ed­u­ca­tion, you can change the way stu­dents learn. Elias, a so­cial ro­bot, is teach­ing Fin­nish chil­dren from the town of Tam­pere in Finland the nu­ances of lan­guage. It teaches the fun­da­men­tals of Fin­nish, Ger­man and English and can help the stu­dents master up to 23 dif­fer­ent lan­guages. The stu­dents have taken a shine to Elias and do not feel

em­bar­rassed about ask­ing ques­tions, which was the main mo­tive be­hind in­tro­duc­ing the ro­bot as the lan­guage teacher in the school.

You’d be sur­prised to know that ro­bots are help­ing chil­dren with spe­cial needs to be­come com­fort­able in chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions. Rob­ota, which uses com­puter vi­sion and sen­ti­ment anal­y­sis to iden­tify stu­dents who ap­pear to be dis­tressed, puts them at ease by ap­proach­ing them and ask­ing the rea­sons be­hind their dis­tress. This is the fu­ture. Here are three do-it-your­self (DIY) ro­botic kits, the sci­ence be­hind them and how they can help the stu­dents.

STAND­ING TALL

Pic­tured above is a shot of a ver­ti­cal-shaped car, which has been

cre­ated by con­nect­ing two drive mo­tors to the heart block placed in a ver­ti­cal po­si­tion. At­tach the two wheels to the drive mo­tors and con­nect the face mod­ule with the heart block. Con­nect Avishkaar Tweak with TweakGo app.

By de­sign­ing this ver­ti­cal car stu­dents will be able to aug­ment their fine mo­tor skills and also learn about ap­pli­ca­tions of the law of mo­tion. As they come to grips with dif­fer­ent types of mo­tion, they can also clear up their ba­sics about the law of fric­tion, start cod­ing and pro­gramme Tweak by writ­ing scripts to change its move­ment, expression, and the lights en­graved on the heart block.

ON A STRONG FOOT­ING

One of the in­nu­mer­able de­signs which Avishkaar Tweak can be moulded into is this DIY model of a wide-shaped car (right above), which can be made by snap­ping to­gether two drive mo­tors, wheels, a caster wheel and face mod­ule with the heart block. Af­ter you’re fin­ished with your de­sign, you have to con­nect Tweak with TweakGo app, and you’re good to go. Through this, chil­dren can learn the con­cepts of dif­fer­ent types of mo­tion— back­wards and for­wards, clockwise and an­ti­clock­wise. The drive mo­tors can be pro­grammed to fol­low a cus­tom script and help stu­dents get their first brush with cod­ing. Through the move­ment of mo­tors, they can learn about the con­cept of fric­tion, en­hance their hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion, their sense of bal­ance, and im­prove their fine mo­tor skills.

NERVES OF STEEL

This me­chan­i­cal ro­bot goes by the name of Wal­nut Crusher (right). Don’t be de­ceived though by the ta­ble ten­nis ball kept in the hold­ing place wait­ing to be crushed. The bot has been made by us­ing metal plates of dif­fer­ing sizes, gears, metal shafts and a con­trol unit be­sides as­sorted nuts and bolts. Now let’s get to the me­chan­ics of it. This is a high torque mech­a­nism-based ro­bot wherein you can ei­ther in­crease or lower the torque through a gear sys­tem or pulley mech­a­nism. In build­ing the bot, a com­plex gear sys­tem has been ap­plied to trans­form the cir­cu­lar mo­tion into lin­ear mo­tion to in­crease the torque level. Stu­dents get to learn the con­cept of in­creas­ing torque with the help of gears and also about the press han­dle mech­a­nism ap­ply­ing their prob­lem-solv­ing, an­a­lyt­i­cal and crit­i­cal think­ing skills. They also brush up their con­cepts of torque along with learn­ing how to cre­ate a de­sign that can ef­fi­ciently gen­er­ate enough force to crush a wal­nut. The au­thor is the Founder and CEO of Avishkaar, a ro­bot man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany

Ro­bots can be great teach­ers and help stu­dents in im­prov­ing their an­a­lyt­i­cal skills

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