"The Revelation of Humanoid Technology - The 'Nao' Robot: A Way of the Future"
By Lianna Scalise
This admirable and inspiring purpose of the Nao robot, is its influence and teaching abilities, that allow the robot to engage and aid with people of all different levels and ages to help with each user's educational development as they offer guidance and support to those who seek aid and learning from. The Nao robot has greatly benefitted autistic children, and leading engineer Nicole Whiteman a part of the intelligent French robotics company (in Paris), 'Aldebaran Robotics' explained that "It acts as a teaching tool to significantly to help autistic or development disorder children to learn and develop important foundation skills necessary for life, which they can further advance on with the robot, and it allows them to learn in a way most schools don't provide the personal one to one teaching and lessons suited to the child's needs and abilities, however with the invention of the Nao Robot, children are now able to interact and communicate with the robot which can walk, speak, listen and move to establish and create a more engaging and comfortable leanring environment for children."
So how does this incredible robot actually work? Head designer Matt Brown explains describing that "The Nao Robot is programmed with software and pre-programmed lessons, data and information that are used to teach children, but can also be programmed with new programs and software via its simple drag and drop boxes, or more advancely through more difficult and complex coding. With these programming methods, people are able to create presentation, programs or lessons suitable and specially to their purpose or the individual users to provide assistance specifically to their needs. We have currently integrated the Nao Robots into several different school, most that cater for autistic children with programmed lessons and activities that are designed with activities and tasks for the children to complete sot that they can learn and develop their skills. We have equipped the Nao robot with a vast combination off different tools, functions and operating equipment so that it is capable of interacting with its user to help teach and aid them, and enforcing its human like qualities or interaction and communication. We have incorporated several different sensors, cameras and microphones into the Nao robot that make it capable of human interaction. Its camera allows it to examine and be aware of its surroundings, as well as recognises faces, whilst its speakers and microphone allow it to listen to the user and detect their voices so that they are then able to respond to their answers, commands or choices, with particular responses depending on the user's request. Ultimately we decided to include sensors however there was some debate about its relativity, however we did include sensors to detect touch and a sonar to detect objects which allow it to keep its balance and positions. All of its functions and equipment are up to the highest of standards and are vital in allowing the robot to interact with others and teach efficiently and accurately."
The Nao robot is unlike any other autistic aiding, teaching tool, and is truly capable of interacting with its user on a personal level with specific guidance, lessons and even rewards to engage its users. It reflects some of its human like qualities in its ability to express and honour/celebrate a student's success by offering a dance as a reward for a student when successfully completing their work or making significant process. The Nao robot has programmed lessons, games and puzzles that are designed to test children, but also offer support and aid when they need it, and this allows it to act as a highly sophisticated and reliable teaching tool, offering different programs for different lessons for different students or different abilites. It creates a new way to learn, in a comfortable, friendly and engaging way for people. Every parent wants their child to enjoy and do well in their learning, and this robot has been designed to do just that as it teaches and educates people of all different circumstances and capabilities, suitable to each individual to create a very personal learning experience that will honestly help and benefit the user. Children develop positive learning behaviours and attitudes towards learning, and the robot is adaptable to all types of different people to help each user greatly benefit from their use and teaching from the robot.
However the Nao Robot is not limited to just children (autistic or not) users, it's available for a range of different people both children and adults with and without disorders, and greatly assists with the educational progressions of its users and offers apps and lessons suitable to health and rehabilitation too. It can be used in a range of different environments depending of the purpose it is intended to serve, the circumstances or the user. The Nao robot was first used in autistic and special schools, and is still highly used and designed to work in special education schools to aid autistic children or children with development disorders. However it has slowly been introduced and integrated into many primary and secondary school to aid children with and without disorders. They are generally designed to teach STEM related topics, but they're also used by adults to aid with rehabilitation in healthcare centres, but also in institutions, companies and labs for research in robotics. The Nao robot offers step-by-step lessons for people of all different levels both mentally and physically (age) also including primary and secondary levels, and its humanoid design allows to to interact with a sense of emotional with its users.
But just why should we be willing to let our children or loved ones use a machine to teach and help them? Well after extensive research, it's been concluded that Nao Robot improves the attitudes and motivations of children, and encourages a environment of comfortable and enjoyable learning. The Nao robot creates and engaging environment, and is shown to encourage the user's willingness to learn and challenge themselves, and they are able experience a range of both theory and practical work that is offered by the robot, providing an engaging experience for children whilst they learn which furthermore promotes and inspires motivation and interest for learning within children. This futurist robot acts as a electronic teacher that helps to encourage and aid children with problem solving and communication skills that improves and aids with their leanring development and effectiveness. The Nao robot is an advancement development and teaching tool that creates a safe and positive leanring environment without the pressure and stress from a normal school environment/classroom for children, as it offers fun games and activities for children to complete at their own pace. whilst even offering a minor dance performance as a reward for a child' success and progress, to agin enforce a happy and enjoyable leanring time for children. The Nao robot teaches children both words and numbers, but also help children to establish and learn moral values such as right and wrong, and educate them with knowledge applicable to their futures for both children and adults.
In spite of the glowing profoundness, fondness and admiration the Nao robot and Aldebaran Robotics have received since the Robot's completed development, there is also growing speculation and worry regarding the safety and life long effects that may come about as a result of using the Nao Robot. Parents are worried that if their children constantly use the Nao robot rather than receive their teaching and education from teachers, their concern lies that their children may become to reliable on the robot and develop reluctance to gain further education and development without the robot. However, there has been no evidence to suggest or prove that using the Nao robot with affects a child's social advancement or development that they become reluctant to engage with other people. no has it been proven that such problems have arisen as a result of a child gaining an education from the robot. However, there is still the potential risk that children may become to engrossed and reliant on the robot that may effect their social interaction with others and desire and motivation to learn beyond without the robot, so it's best to be wary and engage children in regular group activities to allow them to maintain a social relationship with others.
The Nao robot is the future for humanoid robots, and symbolises the advancements that are continuously being made in robotics, and the hope and opportunities robots provide children with to give them new possibilities in life, and aid people in their struggles and difficulties when it may be difficult for others to help. The Nao robot offers companionship, and allows children to build a positive mindset and mentalism to enjoy and be motivated whilst leanring in an engaging, fun, friendly and comfortable way. Its humanoid design and interactions allow it to establish a friendship with its uses, and its unique ability to partially replicate human expression and behaviour qualities are what make the Nao robot such an innovative and extraordinary robot, that truly helps to benefit and aid the lives of many people.