The Robot Teacher was developed by two Israelis. They are Professor Igor Werner of the Technion and Alex Polishuk, who is the head of the Gelfand Center for Robotics at Madatech, Israel’s National Museum of Science. These two Israelis were assisted by Dr. Takuya Hashimoto of Tokyo University of Science.

Werner and Polishuk describe the amazing traits of their Robot Teacher, who “has the following capabilities: bodily movements, facial expressions, speech and communication. The robot behaviors can be programmed or controlled through teleoperation. The Robot teacher’s activities in the science lesson included: lecture explanations, guidance of students’ experiments, asking and answering questions, and greetings at the beginning and end of the lesson.”

Werner and Polishuk continued, “The explanations, guidance instructions and greetings were designed, programmed and animated in advance. Asking and answering questions was performed through teleoperation. The operator observed the class distantly on the screen and heard students’ utterances through the speakers. Our practical goal is to open a new attractive educational channel in the science museum – joyful learning with a human like robot. The research goal is to investigate the principles of learning in which interaction between the learner and the teacher is mediated by the human-like robot.”

Takuya explains, “I originally wanted to enhance children’s interest and motivation in science and technology through this trial…This is a rare experience for children, so they might be more interested in this lesson than in a usual lesson. But, please remember the robot never replaces a human teacher.”

Karin Mayir Rubinstein, CEO of the The Israel Advanced Technologies Industries (IATI), declares, “This is another great example of cutting edge innovation coming out of Israel. Israeli technology, from the USB Flash Drive to the development of crucial mobile platforms, continues to leave a significant and longstanding technological footprint.”

Ms. Rubinstein adds “The IATI believes that Israel is not only the “StartUp Nation” but the “Innovation Nation”, attracting the world’s most influential companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Intel. These leading multinationals have tapped into Israel’s wealth of human capital and unique innovation ecosystem, setting up R& D centers throughout the country that have enabled them to maintain a technological edge on their competition.”

By Joseph Sherman, United with Israel

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