March 4, 2015

Kids and robots learn to write together

(March 4, 2015)  Who is the teacher: the student or the machine? By showing a robot how to write letters, children improve their writing skills and gain self-­confidence. This system, called CoWriter, was developed by EPFL researchers.

A little girl lines up plastic letters fitted with QR codes in front of a little humanoid robot. The robot struggles to reproduce them on a tablet – especially the loop of the letter p. The girl kindly steps in to help, writing out the word to show the robot how to do it. She puts in effort to teach the robot... without realizing that in reality she is the one who is improving her writing skills. Yesterday, EPFL researchers presented their new teaching tool, called CoWriter, at the "Conference on Human-­Robot Interaction (HRI)", an important event in the field of interactive robotics, held in Portland, USA.