NAO Robot Australia & NZ

Teaching the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum with a NAO humanoid robot

This post has been created to show you a series of examples of how a NAO humanoid robot and its programming software, ‘Choréographe’, can be used to teach elements of the new Digital Technologies curriculum at each level.

Foundation to Year 2

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004).

 Example with NAO:

Students could program a NAO robot to introduce itself to their class. Students could program the following sequence using the drag-and-drop interface in ‘Choréographe’ and then have the robot perform the sequence.

  Above:   Drag-and-drop programming with NAO’s software ‘Choréograpghe’ which features a virtual robot that allows students to test their programs without a physical robot. Choréographe can also use ‘Python' code. 

Above: Drag-and-drop programming with NAO’s software ‘Choréograpghe’ which features a virtual robot that allows students to test their programs without a physical robot. Choréographe can also use ‘Python' code. 

First NAO is programmed to stand up, then NAO waves to the class, and finally NAO will say: “hello my name is NAO and I am a humanoid robot”

Years 3 - 4

Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them [ACTDIP010].

Example with NAO: 

Jane needs to find out the favourite colours of her fellow students. Jane can program NAO in the following way to survey her class.  

NAO will first ask: “what is your favorite colour”? Then a speech recognition box is activated. If the robot hears “Red” it will respond, “Me too”! If the robot hears "Blue", it will reply, “I don’t mind Blue” and if the robot hears "Yellow", it will respond “Eww I don’t like Yellow very much”.

Jane can create a table to record the results of her survey.

Years 5 - 6

Design, modify and follow simple algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) [ACTDIP019].

Example with NAO:

Susan has designed a math quiz game using a NAO robot. 

Susan has programmed the robot to ask a series of Math questions and then listen for answers. When the robot hears a correct answer it will take a step forward and when it hears an incorrect answer it will take a step backwards. Correct answers will prompt the robot to move onto a new question whereas incorrect answers will prompt the robot to repeat a question. This exercise covers sequencing, branching, and iteration (repetition).

Years 7 - 8

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English; and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors [ACTDIP029].

Example with NAO:

Students can design an algorithm to solve a maze using a NAO robot.

Provided that the maze is ‘simply connected’ – meaning that all of the walls are connected together or to the boundary of the maze - the ‘right-hand-rule’ can be used to solve the maze.

Accordingly, the following three 'right-hand-rules' can be used:

1.      If a wall is NOT detected to the right, turn 90 degrees right and then walk forward

2.      If a wall is detected to the right, but no wall is detected in front, walk forward

3.      If a wall is detected to the right and a wall is detected in front, then turn 90 degree to the left

Students can use python code within Choréographe to express this algorithm:

Once the student has designed their algorithm they can upload it to a NAO robot and place the robot within a maze for testing. 

Brainary Interactive Choregrape NAO 5.png

Years 9 - 10

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured English and validate algorithms and programs through tracing and test cases [ACTDIP040].

Example with NAO:

Students can design an algorithm to take coffee orders.

Firstly the robot is programmed to ask, ‘would you like a coffee?’ If the respondent answers ‘no’, the robot replies, ‘no worries’. If the respondent answers ‘yes’, the robot will then ask, ‘would you like sugar?’

If the respondent answers ‘no’, the robot will respond, ‘okay thank you for your order’.

If the respondent answers ‘yes’, the robot then asks, ‘how many sugars would you like?’ then the robot will say, ‘okay thank you for your order’. 

NAO Robot used in paediatric rehab at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

   
  
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     NAO, with nine-year-old Miles, who is currently recovering from a road accident

NAO, with nine-year-old Miles, who is currently recovering from a road accident

A partnership between The Brainary, Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), and Swinburne University of Technology has seen the introduction of a NAO humanoid robot to assist in paediatric rehabilitation. 

NAO is currently being used to assist children recovering from major illnesses or injuries whereby the robot completes physical exercises alongside the children, demonstrating and explaining correct technique. 

Head of Rehabilitation at RCH and Statewide Medical Director of Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (VPRS), Dr Adam Scheinberg, advised that children with major illnesses or injuries often require long periods of intensive rehabilitation.

“One, if not the, major challenge is maintaining each child’s engagement with the rehabilitation,” he said.

“NAO helps us motivate children and increase the number of repetitions of their exercises on a daily basis which leads to a faster recovery and less time in hospital".

Swinburne University of Technology has lead the research and development required to program applications based on the requirements of Occupational Therapists working with the children. 

The partnership was initiated by Emeritus Professor Leon Sterling from Swinburne and Director of The Brainary, Hugh Kingsley, and was funded by TAC to help improve the lives of patients with Acquired Brain Injury and/or Spinal Cord Injury.

 NAO and Miles working on 'bridge' exercises together. 

NAO and Miles working on 'bridge' exercises together. 

Swinburne partners with The Brainary to deliver robotics workshops

NAO Swinburne

A new partnership will now make it possible for primary and high school students to access NAO, the worlds most widely used humanoid robot for education and research.

Swinburne University of Technology and The Brainary ®, a distributer of educational resources, have teamed up to deliver an interactive robotics workshop for school-aged children from schools across Australia and New Zealand.

The collaboration has enabled workshops to be run at an affordable rate, thus removing the cost barrier for schools to participate.

Swinburne’s Professor Leon Sterling, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Digital Frontiers) and Mr Hugh Kingsley from the Brainary shared a vision to introduce more young people to NAO, which has revolutionary applications for healthcare, rehabilitation and special education.

“During the workshop, students work together in teams using software to develop programming for NAO. Students then get to see their programming come to life on a real NAO robot,” Professor Sterling said.

A key element of the NAO Outreach Program is that it uses a peer-learning model where the program is delivered to the school students by Swinburne students.

 “School students get the opportunity to learn from university students who are at the cutting edge of robotics,” Mr Kingsley said.

“Swinburne students also benefit on a practical level by sharing their knowledge, experience and research with school students,” Mr Kingsley said.

The partnership will bring about new and exciting projects that will make a positive difference to education and health, with practical outcomes.

Dr Therese Keane, senior lecturer in Education at Swinburne was involved in running a NAO workshop over the school holidays last year, seeing first-hand the benefits of school children interacting with advanced digital technology.

“Students were fully engaged in programming and interacting with the robots during the three day school holiday workshop,” Dr Keane said.

 “It was an amazing opportunity for students to work with such technology."

For enquires contact:  Tel: (03) 5298 1176 | Email: nao@thebrainary.com or view the detailed Program Flyer.

Original Article:

http://www.swinburne.edu.au/media-centre/news/2015/04/swinburne-partners-with-the-brainary-to-deliver-robotics-workshops.html

 

 

Waikiki Primary School in The West Australian Newspaper talking about their new NAO Robot

Move over R2-D2 and WALL-E, Waikiki Primary School's newest addition is a humanoid robot named Neo [NAO] - the first used in a WA classroom.