When kids bring toy cars to school, teachers usually confiscate them and give them back at the end of class or even the end of the school year, in some cases. These toys are seen as a distraction – something that detracts from the work being done in the classroom. But, what if these toy cars could be robots that teach kids the basics? What if they could be used for “good” instead of “evil?”
That’s where Arizona State University comes in. They are designing a robotic toy car that actively teach young children basic math and spelling with the games it has programmed into its system, according to a July 16 2013 article on Robotic Trends.
This robot’s name is Cosmo, and it is the brainchild of a group of students called the Infinibotics from ASU. During testing, it was reported that children loved Cosmo, and parents asked where they could buy one of their children.
Not only does Cosmo educate young children on basic subjects, it can also interact with them. Cosmo can respond to voice commands like “Cosmo, follow,” and “Cosmo, stop.” Designers are considering enabling the robot to play games like hide and seek, as well as treasure hunting, while giving children simple math and spelling challenges, as a way of promoting active learning.
While the project is still heavily in the design phase, it is definitely could lead in a new generation of robotic learning aids for children, much like LeapFrog did in the early 2000s.
While Cosmo isn’t rolling around at the RobotWorx facility in Marion, Ohio, we still have a lot of intelligent robots that can perform operations like spot welding, pick and place and drilling, along with dozens of other applications. Our robots have user-friendly interface, and while they may not respond to voice commands (yet…maybe one day), it only takes a few days to learn to operate one efficiently.