TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH HUMANOID SOCIAL AND SERVICE ROBOTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION -LEARNINGS FROM SERVICE DESIGN AND IT FRAMEWORK USE CASE DEVELOPMENT MODULES

C. Tigerstedt, D. Biström

Arcada UAS (FINLAND)
This paper is a research into practice paper based on an ongoing learning and development project at Arcada UAS. The project and this paper are related to the broader theme 'AI for humans' and more specifically to humanoid robot applications and learnings in higher education. The project's specific purpose is to familiarize teachers and students in higher education with humanoid robots and related technologies. There is a need to increase understanding for both robotics and AI in education and in the society per se.

The paper looks at how the teaching in Service design and IT frameworks has integrated robotics (humanoid social and service robots) and use case development into the learning modules. Previous research underlines the importance of including experts from several fields into early stages of the development to achieve a product that is well suited for its intended use case. This has been at the core of the creation of the learning activities in the project (and the learning modules).
The paper contributes to an increased understanding of how AI and robotics can be included in the learning context in HE (higher education).

The aim of this paper is therefore to give insight into how robotics and especially humanoid service and social robots can be introduced in the learning in higher education (HE) to both enhance learning in different fields as well as to provide different stakeholders interesting solutions. The paper focuses on learning with the social robot Alf (Sanbot Elf) and Amy the waitress robot from Csjbot. We aim to describe the process of the integration and the associated learning activities and report on preliminary results from two (5 ECTS ) learning modules).

We have used ethnographic methods and tools to investigate the learning activities and the development processes. The main method used is observation which in this case include auto-ethnographic elements. Primarily, two modules have been studied. Students in Service design and IT frameworks have been part of the learning activities ( ~50 students).

This is an ongoing project. Initial results show that integration of IT and business students in this kind of use case development is beneficial. The two robot platforms do add a concrete way to increase understanding of AI and robotics for the students. The platforms also provide a good opportunity for cross-disciplinary integration in HE (higher education) teaching and learning. The use case development, incl application development, is seen as useful and interesting from both the students’ and the teachers’ perspective.