Teachers are often stretched thin. As classroom sizes get larger and resources dwindle, it can be a significant challenge for even the most qualified teacher to provide individual attention to every single child, especially those with special challenges or learning difficulties. One possible solution? Robots.As part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Expeditions in Computing, researchers from Yale University are developing socially assistive robotics— a new field of robotics that focuses on assisting users through social rather than physical interaction. A core part of their research is to design these robots to work with children, including those with challenges such as autism, hearing impairment, or those whose first language is one other than English.The goal is not to replace teachers, but to assist them, said Brian Scassellati, a professor of computer science, cognitive science, and mechanical engineering at Yale University and director of the NSF Expedition on Socially Assistive Robotics.“You may have a public school where there are 25 to 30 kids in a classroom and the amount of time that the teacher can spend one-on-one with each child is relatively limited,” said Scassellati in an interview with R&D Magazine. “What these systems are doing is really leveraging the time that… Read full this story
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