Robots Are Fast Learners, It Takes Just 3 Hours to Learn How to Teach
Robots are really fast learners
and takes only three hours to learn to independently handled classes, according
to a study report published in Science Robotics.
A human teacher taught a robot to teach young students and within three hours it was able to handle the tasks independently. Researchers say the technique could have a number of benefits to teachers, as they face increasing demands on their time, and could be positive for pupils, with research previously showing that using robots alongside teachers in the classroom can have benefits for their education.
They also believe it holds considerable potential for a number of other sensitive applications of social robots, such as in eHealth and assistive robotics. The study was coordinated by researchers at the University of Plymouth, which has a long history of developing social robots for a range of education and health settings, working with colleagues at the University of Lincoln and the University of the West of England.Although the autonomous robot used actions with a different frequency than the teacher, it only used actions already demonstrated, learned the unique dynamics associated to each type of action, and its behaviour had a positive impact on the children. Indeed, the robot was also able to successfully learn how to support the children with social actions, like praise and encouragements.
The researchers say this could prove especially useful in future human-robot interactions because it would enable scientists to bypass the standard approach to designing robotic controllers, whereby domain experts describe a behaviour to be implemented by engineers. Instead this approach empowers end-users to directly teach a robot.