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Robotic Tutors For Primary School Children

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A robot tutoring.

The use of robotic tutors in primary school classrooms is one step closer, thanks to research from Spain's Department of Artificial Intelligence.

Credit: Luis-Eduardo Imbernon Cuadrado, SOPRA Steria, Madrid, Spain

Researchers from Spain's Department of Artificial Intelligence in Madrid have developed an integrated computational architecture for use with software applications in schools.

"The main goal of our work was to design a system that can detect the emotional state of primary school children interacting with educational software and make pedagogic interventions with a robot tutor that can ultimately improve the learning experience," says Department of Artificial Intelligence researcher Luis Imbernon Cuadrado.

The researchers identified three cognitive states--concentrating, distracted, and inactive--that influence the course of learning. They used keyboard strokes and mouse actions of children using educational software to predict which of these states the child is experiencing.

The software was linked to an algorithm that chooses the correct form of pedagogic intervention, which could be words and gestures of encouragement or attempts to raise interest and motivation for a specific learning objective, all of which can be delivered by a robot tutor.

One robotic tutor platform integrates educational software with a commercially available robot through the computational architecture developed by the researchers.

"The next step will be to implement methods for detecting a more complex range of emotions with cameras and microphones and to test the longer-term impact of robot tutors on children's learning curves," Cuadrado says.

From Science Daily
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