The Centre Daily Times has featured a study by Brian Redmond, former Senior Lecturer in Psychology, and Penn State Outreach that explores the use of robots to connect remote students to classroom activities at Penn State.
The robot can stand up to 5 feet tall, and its height can be adjusted by the controlling student. When the robot is taller, it moves more slowly.
The robot not only can move the controlling student around a classroom, it can also bring the student into classroom discussions through video chat. The professor and other students in the class can see their classmate on video and respond.
Redmond said the attention to robots currently “is a little bit more on the online students because they are lacking a lot of the opportunities that on-campus students have. For instance, all of our online students at a distance don’t have access to participating in research labs. One of our first focuses is getting those students into those research labs on campus.”
Helping online students participate in on-campus labs also benefits faculty members, who can learn as much from the students’ research as the students can learn from them, he said.