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Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2040064

ERIKA—Early Robotics Introduction at Kindergarten Age

1,2,*,†
and
1,†
1
MASCOR Institute, FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Eupener Str. 70, 52066 Aachen, Germany
2
Knowledge-Based Systems Group, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Computer Interaction in Education)
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Abstract

In this work, we report on our attempt to design and implement an early introduction to basic robotics principles for children at kindergarten age. One of the main challenges of this effort is to explain complex robotics contents in a way that pre-school children could follow the basic principles and ideas using examples from their world of experience. What sets apart our effort from other work is that part of the lecturing is actually done by a robot itself and that a quiz at the end of the lesson is done using robots as well. The humanoid robot Pepper from Softbank, which is a great platform for human–robot interaction experiments, was used to present a lecture on robotics by reading out the contents to the children making use of its speech synthesis capability. A quiz in a Runaround-game-show style after the lecture activated the children to recap the contents they acquired about how mobile robots work in principle. In this quiz, two LEGO Mindstorm EV3 robots were used to implement a strongly interactive scenario. Besides the thrill of being exposed to a mobile robot that would also react to the children, they were very excited and at the same time very concentrated. We got very positive feedback from the children as well as from their educators. To the best of our knowledge, this is one of only few attempts to use a robot like Pepper not as a tele-teaching tool, but as the teacher itself in order to engage pre-school children with complex robotics contents. View Full-Text
Keywords: robotics; kindergarten; education; robot operating system; ROS; Pepper; human–robot interaction; HRI robotics; kindergarten; education; robot operating system; ROS; Pepper; human–robot interaction; HRI
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Schiffer, S.; Ferrein, A. ERIKA—Early Robotics Introduction at Kindergarten Age. Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2, 64.

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