CU News

Robot Teaching Assistant from Chulalongkorn Wins Two of the World’s Most Prestigious Awards

The learning environment promises to be more fun and energetic with a new robot teaching assistant – a creation by Chula inventors rubber-stamped by the Gold Medal and the Innovation Excellence Award from the International British Innovation, Invention, Technology Exhibition (IBIX) 2020.

For kids, playing games and learning will no longer be two separate things.  Following the recent launch of the teaching assistant robot “Avatar”, an innovative collaboration between Chula’s Faculties of Education and Engineering in the “TARAL: Teaching Assistant interactive Robot for Active Learning” research project.

“We developed the robot teaching assistant from a robot teddy bear, the first-generation robot that we submitted to a contest in South Korea. The highlight of the Avatar TA robot is the new feature that will transform the boring learning environment into fun lessons that learners will enjoy, including raising their Avatar robot with QR Codes received from answering quizzes. This process is called Gamification because it evokes a sense of enjoyment that learners may forget that they are studying”, said Prof. Dr. Naowanit Songkram, Department of Educational Technology and Communications, who is a co-developer of the 10-inch, resin Avatar robot with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Krerk Piromsopa of the Department of Computer Engineering, about the highlights and key features of the innovation.  

“We applied the Learning Management System (LMS) in growing Avatar.  The more learners answer quizzes, the more Avatar grows, so learning and playing are pretty much the same thing.”

Avatar is also equipped with Moodle open-source LMS which allows teachers to add and modify as needed all forms of contents and teaching materials in Avatars, be it animations, electronic books, or URL links.

“The quizzes may include fill-in-the-blank, or full-sentence answers types.  Evaluation and  summary of the results is also done in real-time.”

Prof. Dr. Naowanit concluded that Avatar is currently under petty patent application and that an extension of the project to Chulalongkorn Demonstration School to develop exercise aids for students’ fitness test in P.E. is currently underway as well.

Chula’s encouragement and support for research is excellent for teachers, students, and the public.

Associate Professor Dr. Suchana Chavanich Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University