What would happen if robots were part of your daily life? For us adults, the answer might include sandwich expeditions, help with laundry, cleaning, tricking our friends ... and so on. But kids imagine a whole different level of companionship. Along with playing games, robots would help with students' homework — even more effectively than their parents. They would be non-judgmental friends and constructive critics, helping students think better. They'd be cool because they're smart.
A survey of kids in six countries asked the same question — "what would happen if robots were a part of your everyday life?" — and asked kids to draw and explain their answers. The results are of course pretty cute, but some are remarkably deep and others borderline sad.
"Since my parents really are always at work a lot, they can't always help me or play with me or cook something. Now the robot helps them with that," said one 9-year-old German boy.
The study was intended to gauge how students see robots fitting into their lives. Latitude Research collaborated with the LEGO Learning Institute and Australia's Project Synthesis, and worked with 348 students from Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Notably absent are any Asian countries, an odd omission given the popularity of robots in Japan. But Latitude says it plans to expand the study to Asian countries soon.
Kids drew robots in a variety of settings, but the vast majority involved the 'bots as patient and supportive educators, encouraging kids to try new things without feeling self-conscious or embarrassed. They fix kids' spelling mistakes and improve their math skills, and so on. Only 25 percent of the students imagined robots as household servants completing chores. Latitude scored the responses based on a variety of variables, and came up with some general insights. You can read it in full here.
"Robots are helping to reveal a potential shift in kids' social and learning psychologies—moving from acts of knowledge transmission toward acts of exploration, collaboration, and creation," the study authors say.
Children love robots because of their inherent contradictions, said Edith Ackermann, an honorary professor of developmental psychology at the University of Aix-Marseille I in France and a visiting scientist at MIT's Design Lab, in the study's summary.
"Bots have a way of being that is alien and surprising yet, at the same time, familiar enough to be recognizable, and endearing enough to be 'be-friended,'" she said. "Because robots do things (as if driven from within), they capture our imagination and are treated differently than inert objects; from transitional objects, they become alter egos. A child's infatuation with robots is at the image of our own endless human quest for renewed identity."
Deep thoughts, there. And you thought robots were just laundry servants.
[via IEEE Spectrum]
Babies and Children grow from instincts and their environment. Now if we can create an automated robotic parent that gives pre-programmed and design responses and this robot is not repulse by the baby or child, but enjoyed by the child and accepted. We can manufacture human development. Combine this with cloning and gene manipulation of the human gene and we can create a new human with new human manufactured designed and engineered development.....
EW! I do not like the picture I just described.
But worse, others may like want this very much!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
not even gonna read this article and go ahead and suggest parents get off their butts and help their kids with home work and then force them out side to make friends with the neighbor hood kids
gotta love robots (might wanna be a bit careful with that), robots are the future, like it or not, please do go outside and play with your kids, they grow up fast, cheers
Delkomatic it must be nice to live in your world where everyone gets along, people live in nice happy neighborhoods without crime, and parents always have time to play with their kids. However in the real world lots of parents have to work many hours to support their families thats assuming their not single parents who have to work even more. I can think of 100 neigborhoods in my city that i wouldnt want my worst enemy outside walking around in. Your comment is both close minded and naive.
That's pretty disturbing, having a robot friend sounds kind of weird. PARENTS should be taking care of their children, not robots. Besides if the parents don't have time to spend with their kids when they're toddlers, they probably shouldn't be having kids in the first place. Sounds like those sci-fi movies where the future's gone wrong.