Dubai: Humanoid robots are making an entry into classrooms in academic and research institutions in the Middle East, promising to revolutionise the teaching process especially in the fields of science and mathematics.
French company Aldebaran Robotics, in partnership with Intel, has showcased the power of humanoid Nao robots in the teaching process in the classrooms of Middle East educational institutions.
Powered by Intel Atom technology, Nao is the first versatile and programmable humanoid robot to be used as a standard research platform and an educational tool for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students, it was announced here Wednesday.
Nao`s user-friendly programming environment, used by beginners and experts, includes visual programming software Choregraphe and a 3D simulator along with numerous application programming interfaces (APIs).
A step-by-step guide helps both students and teachers to easily master Nao, thus rapidly energising science and engineering classes.
"Ten years ago people did not believe that computers would be an instrumental component of the teaching process, compared with today where a wide variety of technologies are incorporated into the 21st century classroom. In the coming years robotics will be as important to classrooms as computers are today. All future engineers, scientists and researchers in applied sciences, will benefit from learning with and about robotics," Bruno Maisonnier, CEO of Aldebaran Robotics said.
Nao Academics has been available for only four years, but more than 1500 models have already been sold to 450 of the most prestigious universities around the world, for academic purposes.
Nao`s track record with academia and research inspired Aldebaran Robotics to introduce it to higher education.
"Through hands-on experiments, students of all ages can benefit from working with Nao in addition to learning vital team working skills," said Nassir Nauthoa, General Manager, GCC, Intel Corporation.
Nao is used by the world`s most prestigious universities and laboratories including Harvard, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon, as both a research platform and an educational tool.
From studies on motor skills, balance, grasping of objects or research on vision, language and man-robot interaction, new applications of Nao are being discovered in areas beyond robotics, including treating children with autism.
First Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 09:47