On November 3, 2017，"Robot and Education Summit Forum", which was hosted jointly by Higher Education Association of China and Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University (SLIBNU), was successfully held in the 50th Higher Education Expo China(in Nanjing International Expo Center). Higher Education Expo China hosted by Higher Education Association of China is a comprehensive exhibition with the largest scale, the longest holding time and the strongest influence in the field of higher education. This forum focuses on the development trend of intelligent robots, the cultivation of talents in the field of robots, and the development of educational robot industry. Top domestic experts and scholars in the field of artificial intelligence, intelligent robot and robot education gathered in this forum, and they shared the research results, exchanged practical experience, and explored the revolutionary impact that robot technology has brought to education.
The site of the Forum
Kang Kai, Vice President and Secretary General of Higher Education Association of China, and Dr. Haijun Zeng, Vice Dean of SLIBNU made a speech for the forum. Kang Kai said that promoting the development of science education which is represented by robotics is an important way to build an innovative country, and is also the key to enhance the scientific literacy of all the citizens. Haijun Zeng mentioned that educational robot involves two aspects, which are "service robot in education industry" and "robot education among teenagers", and it would become the third field of robot development after industrial robot and service robot. The forum was hosted by Teng Wang, Director of Educational Robotics Center of SLIBNU.
Kang Kai, Vice President and Secretary General of Higher Education Association of China
Dr. Haijun Zeng, Vice Dean of SLIBNU
Teng Wang, Director of Educational Robotics Center of SLIBNU
The forum invited Songhao Piao, Director of the Multi-intelligent Robot Research Center from College of Computer of Harbin Institute of Technology; Yanyan Li, Professor from BNU; Jingming Zhou, Executive Director and Secretary-General from the Service Robot Application and Extension Alliance of China; Lin Chang, CEO of LEJU (Shenzhen) Robot Technology Ltd; Hualiang Zhang, Researcher from Shenyang Institute of Automation of Chinese Academy of Sciences to deliver a keynote speech.
Professor Songhao Piao gave a speech entitled “Research on the Current Development Status of Intelligent Robots”. Through showing pictures, playing videos and some other forms, he briefly introduced the definition, classification, current development status of intelligent robots, and gave an expectation about the future trend of intelligent robots. Professor Piao believed that the future development direction of robot is to be intelligent; intelligent robot is a kind of machine which is supposed to have the perceptual, cognitive and moving function. He also put forward several possible development trends of the conscious intelligent robots in the future, which has an important guiding significance.
Songhao Piao, Director of the Multi-intelligent Robot Research Center from College of Computer of Harbin Institute of Technology
Professor Yanyan Li focused on STEM education, which has promoted the integration of interdisciplinary knowledge. And she made a report entitled “Robots and the Innovation of Educational Practice of STEM”, which advocates to help students build a solid foundation of science, technology, engineering and mathematical knowledge, cultivate their innovative spirits and practical ability, and promote the growth of innovative and entrepreneurial talents. How to practice the innovative concept of STEM education by the use of robots is a hot topic of current concern. Professor Li outlined the current development of STEM education, and she put forward a “co-operative and exploration” teaching model based on the “Intelligent Robot” course, which is one of the school’s curriculum revolution projects. In addition, In addition, carrying out STEM teaching reform by the introduction of engineering design ideas in primary school science class has efficiently enhanced the students' problem-solving ability and innovation ability.
Yanyan Li, Professor of BNU
The Chairman Jingming Zhou shared the current hot points, pain points, opportunities, challenges, trends and countermeasure of service robots with participants of this forum. He believed that the development of service robots is still facing the reality of technical bottlenecks, and it is still under the stage in which “machine is made to help people”. Only after the deep combination of service robot and artificial intelligence, “chemical reaction” would come out. At present, most of the service robot enterprises are emerging enterprises and the technology and market competition have not been formed, so they have sufficient competition. However, over time, a new and bigger tycoon will emerge in the field of service robot.
Jingming Zhou, Executive Director and Secretary-General of China Service Robots Application & Promotion Alliance (CSRAP)
Dr. Chang gave a report entitled “Research on the Application of Humanoid Robots in Education”, introducing the current situation of robotic education and the application of humanoid robots in education. The report focuses on the concept, features and the application in education of humanoid robots. By stating the cases, it analyzes the application of humanoid robots in specific practice, and prospects the future promotion of humanoid robots in the field of education.
Lin Chang, CEO of AELOS (LEJU ROBOT)
Researcher Hualiang Zhang gave a report entitled "Higher Robot-based Education and Experimental System in the Intelligent Era". The report is mainly aimed at the training education of the robotics and other related courses for undergraduates and postgraduates. It takes students’ practice as the core, constructs related experimental platforms, and reproduces the scenes of the workplace of robots in the intelligent era and the needs of the future advanced research. Mr. Zhang brought the newly-developed instructive training system on automatic control, deep learning, robots and intelligent manufacture. Based on his experiences in research and postgraduate education, he shared the application and challenges in robotic teaching and learning.
Hualiang Zhang, Researcher of Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences
The forum attracted more than 500 attendees. The representatives interacted deeply with specialists about the influences and challenges of robots on children’s learning, family education and talent cultivation in the future. At the same time, the Smart Education Exhibition was held, attracting nearly 2000 people to come to visit. Many attendees expressed their interests in the research results and solutions of smart education in all fields in SLIBNU, and they hope to develop deeper cooperation with SLIBNU in the future.
As an experimental platform of comprehensive research, technology development and education instruction built by both Beijing Normal University and Elernity, SLIBNU has been focusing on the development of educational robots all the time. At the beginning of its establishment, the Educational Robotics Centre was built to research on the scenarios of robotics in education and the trend of artificial intelligence, develop the courses for robotic education and STEAM education, as well as design and develop educational robots. In 2016, Educational Robots White Paper: The Global Development and The Next Big Thing: Global Development Status and Trends in Educational Robots was published to summarize and explore the academic research, industrial development and current situation of global educational robots. By integrating the needs of six different groups on educational robots and analyzing the market trend, it tried to satisfy readers’ personalized demand and market scale on educational robots. Our government attaches great importance to the innovative application of robotics, which implies that educational robots will have a broad application prospect. The forum is beneficial to promote the development of artificial intelligence, robot in STEM education and talent cultivation. Educational robots will receive more and more attention in the future, and possibly become a new highland for future educational development.