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Robots become teachers in Bengaluru school, thanks to AI

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Disruptive technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are making their way into classrooms as humanoid robots to teach students and interact with them as teachers do, at a school in Bengaluru.

Though the 5 foot 7 inch robots, dressed in formal female attire, do not replace real teachers, they complement them in teaching lessons in the subjects and reply to FAQs (frequently asked questions) from students.

“We have programmed the interactive robots to answer questions students frequently ask on the subjects and related to them. With AI in play, the robots are able to respond to questions and doubts of our wards after a lesson is taught,” said Mr Rao.

The private international day-cum-boarding school has 25 co-ed students in each of the four sections for Classes 7-9. It is affiliated to the Geneva-based International Baccalaureate (IB) Institute and follows its syllabus, which is recognized worldwide.

Mr Rao and his 17-member team have designed and built the three robots in-house from light-weight 3D-printed materials with imported smart servo motors. These robots emulate human-like gestures while delivering the lessons in the classroom.

The team consists of teachers in the respective subjects – programmers, content developers, graphic designers and hardware engineers who built the mobile robots, weighing 45 kgs each.

Though the team did not rope-in any manufacturer to make the robots, it sourced hardware and software components from the best players in the industry to assemble them in-house at a cost of Rs 8 lakh each.

Touted as the first-of-its-kind, the school plans to scale the pilot project to roll out more robots for other classes and more subjects in future.

The school is also in the process of applying for an international patent to protect the IP (intellectual property) of its Eagle 2.0 version humanoid robot.

Anvi Kurade, a Class 8 student in the school here, said it was fascinating to watch a robot taking classes and teaching lessons in as many as five subjects.


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