2 minute read time.
"The longer you engage with a robotics platform the harder it gets for the platform to spot learning patterns" explained Dr Gaudl, Lecturer at University of Plymouth at the 'Robotics in Education' Christmas evening lecture organised by the IET Central London Network held at the IET Savoy Place.

He went on to explain that without patterns robots cannot learn and it’s this innovation challenge within the Operating Systems used by robots that will make or break the launch of low cost robotics industry. People are likely to respond to this new industry if the robots actually work, and so far they are working! .. well think robot steps not pigeon steps.

Dr Gauld walked the audience through a series of robot examples and how their successes are really dependent  on the cost of components. A robot has to last, be durable and be able to survive in its environment whether it be school kids throwing or poking it, the elderly using robots as a life time companion or the military being able to the same robotic components in different scenarios. Whilst full humanoid robots can go up to £250,000, education robots through low cost robotics are now appearing at the £200 price tag that are fit for purpose to interact with kids of 6 years or above.

STEM software customisations will also be an important factor for low cost robotics, schools need the robots to feel responsive in an engaging way to ensure the robot is seen a teaching tool, these customisations are allowing better innovations and some educational robots are now entering the educational market at £40 under the affordable technology category driven by the cost cutting factor that robots do not have to look like humanoids. This was an interesting dimension to the lecture as Dr Gauld explained that an educational robotic device can be anything, as long as the robotic experiences are to teach educational concepts and that the prototyping of STEM methods is going to be foundational for educational robotics including 3D printing techniques to help STEM industry progress.

Dr Gaudl spent time talking about the different manufacturing methods such as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and how general challenges such as custom part design, short design prototyping, affordability, educational software and ability to ‘prototype to market’ is going to constantly fuel an immense amount of innovation within Robotics In Education.

Event Slides:

IET Robotics in Education TechyTots 11-Dec-2019 

IET Robotics in Education Dr Gaudl 11-Dec-2019