‘Mocoro’ is IBM’s Telepresence Robot that ‘Helps Improve Classroom Communication’
Researchers at IBM Research Tokyo have developed the ‘Mocoro’ wooden robot for ‘classroom communication’ applications – basically an attempt to keep students engaged using a telepresence robot in a wooden body.
The lecturer begins to drone on. And, worse, the students and lecturer are not physically in the same classroom. But such is life in today’s era of remote, video conference-style higher education options.
Without a way for the lecturer to monitor and respond to reactions, it is difficult to determine what information resonated (or bored) the students. Oftentimes, students are in a lecture hall, staring at their instructor, projected over a widescreen. And, the lecturer has little control over zooming in or out, or changing what he or she sees of the students, either. The same situation applies to the students who are joining the class from a remote location.