Future of Robotics Assistance in Higher Education

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  • The worldwide industrial robotics market reached a record $16.5 billion in sales in 2018, according to the International Federation of Robotics’ World Robotics Report. The IFR said 422,000 industrial robots were shipped around the world in 2018, a 6% increase from 2017’s previous record of 381,000 industrial robots.

  • Across the world, the pace of industrial automation is steadily accelerating. According to the International Federation of Robotics, there were 66 installed industrial robots per 10,000 employees globally in 2015 and that increased to 74 in 2016.

Will robots revolutionized learning environments just the way computers did in 80s and 90s? What should colleges and universities do to prepare themselves for the automation of teaching and learning systems? How should higher education deal with productive use of disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence?

These are some of the questions that will crop in the near future when robotics assisted education will become a reality.

Technological advancement is breaking old barriers and giving rise to new practices in education domain. The use of Robotics in Education sector is one such interesting and upcoming development.  It is emerging as a noteworthy element to aid streamlining of various educational processes. Use of such technologies in the education environment will certainly add value in making the learning environment more inclusive and engaging.

The use of robotics is already aiding other sectors such as healthcare etc. When applied to education, robotics can change the way students learn and teachers teach.

Use of Robotics in Higher Education

There are many education domains that require deep understanding of the subject with specialized skills to deal with modern situations. For example medical education involves complex study which cannot be just understood by textbooks alone. Learning to skillfully perform complex operations requires deployment of teaching resources that facilitate learning in a better way. Here, robotics can help in performing difficult surgeries etc.

Robotics can also help students with special need in the classroom.  Students with Autism can learn communication and social skills all through the use of robotics. Robots can be programmed to suit each individual child’s need, offering special education in a much simpler, accessible format. Robotics can bring classroom to the doorsteps of students. They can be programmed to provide school like simulation at home for people who are medically challenged.

Robotics technologies can offer a range of possibilities for education sector for catering to every student’s learning needs. As this technology progresses it will transform the educational world in a big way. Higher education will continue to benefit from the opportunities offered with these groundbreaking tools.

Future of Robotics in Indian Education Industry

Robotics has come a long way from just being a science fiction movie element to now a big reality.  It is currently being efficiently utilized to solve some of the crucial problems of human existence. The education industry is also seeing how robotics is progressively impacting its delivery model. From AI driven lectures to smart classrooms, robotics science has been intertwined deeply in our education system.

Robotics can influence higher education in India in classroom learning and also in facilitating experiential learning. It can support co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Workshops can be conducted with the help of a robotics supported simulation environment to make students understand application of difficult concepts in the real world like situation.

Instructional robotics driven education can be developed to teach in a tutorial style. The utilization of robots in education will depend upon various factors like cost, the age of students, subject domain etc. In coming years, efforts need to be made for deployment of robotics equipment and programming for education.

Domains where robotics can help (admission, alumni, placements and more)

Robotics assistance can grossly improve operations in key departments such as admissions, alumni relations etc.

Here are a few instances where the use of robotics technology have and can bring drastic improvements in functioning of higher education institutions.

#1. AI-based chatbot technology is transforming admission marketing

AI-based chatbot technology is transforming admission marketing. The future of customer relationship management and lead generation is through digital personal assistants such as a chatbot.

Powered by smart algorithms and machine learning, chatbots (automated chat messaging) allows institutes to connect with their prospective applicants just as humans do and that too 24/7 so that you need worry about answering queries beyond business hours. At the same time the technology helps you to cut down some of the overhead costs by saving lot of precious time.

Moreover, these bots are programmed to decipher the intent of your visitors. So they exactly know what to say next to keep the conversation engaging, which is the prime objective of lead nurturing. According to a study conducted by HubSpot, it was found that Consumers are comfortable buying from a bot that provides customized service.

For an educational institute, use of technology is a must because you are catering to a tech savvy generation which is smartphone driven. Their preferences will ultimately drive marketing campaigns in the coming years and push lead generation campaigns to an altogether new level

Imagine the present lead generation campaigns which typically start by developing landing pages, launching SEO/SEM initiatives, telephonic follow-ups etc. In this process lot of leads drop. Admission marketing teams often feel handicapped. But with chatbots all of this gets eliminated. The AI-based way to capture and nurture your leads means that they’re handed more qualified and informed leads, which are then easier to convert.

Besides, the above, chatbots are a great way to communicate with your target audience.  Online Messaging involves targeting each visitor with the right message at the right time. Robotics assistance can also be sought to perform work of a personal assistant like scheduling meetings etc. This actually means that your staff can easily get rid of routine administrative work and focus on more valuable tasks.

Similarly, robotics can help automate other academic processes such as placement, alumni relations etc. etc.

#2. AI driven Robots could soon be teaching in university classrooms

The number of robots around the world is increasing rapidly. The full potential of these disruptive technologies is yet to be discovered, but their impact on teaching and learning is expected to be huge. This means that higher education might be affected by these technologies earlier than other sectors.

Artificial intelligence is set to have a significant impact. And not just on teaching and learning, but also on the whole student experience – innovation infused with traditional academic processes. This will change the classroom experience and how universities communicate with students, with lectures and marking potentially done by robots.

Robot assisted learning seems to be the future. As the evolution of computers brought a paradigm shift in the learning environments at all levels, it is most likely that robotics will also bring radical changes in the education sector.

In educational institutions worldwide several attempts have been made to introduce robotics in school education. It is believed that the use of robotics technology in the classroom will help students to explore new learning paths. It is further believed that robotics aided education will improve creative problem solving abilities of students.  These machines are also intended to help in improving basic communication and interpersonal skills, ability to collaborate, and convey complex ideas to a fellow students or colleagues.

Conclusion                                                                 

As technology is advancing so are necessities and priorities of educational institutions. From mobile applications to the tech-savvy classrooms of today, education system is adjusting itself with changing necessities in the sector.

The period of robotics in education is simply beginning to indicate energizing possibilities of transformation that lay ahead for the education division.

As one of the most destructive technologies in the Industry 4.0 Era, application of robotics in education especially higher education is a growing possibility. At the moment, Indian education sector may not be using this technology to its full potential. But as the situation of robotics application in higher education will improve with time, academic institutions will be providing robotics assisted education to make learning more interesting and impactful.

For now, educators, national policy makers, students can start discussions among themselves for creating general view of how they perceive robotics can help improving the teaching and learning process. Edutech companies on their part can invest in exploring solutions to current obstacles in the development, wide popularization and effective implementation of robotics in high education institutions.

If you wish to put forward some tentative suggestions for the future spread of robotics in higher education, do write back to us through the comments section of this blog.

 

 

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