How are robotics changing education

December 6, 2023
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What is robotics in education?

Educational robotics, or Pedagogical robotics, is all about learning through robots. It's a way for kids to start learning about robotics and computer programming at a young age.

Imagine a classroom where instead of reading about science and technology, students can program robots themselves or learn with the help of one.

Educational robots can take many forms. They could be small, programmable robots that students can learn to code themselves or larger robots that interact with students, almost like a friend in the classroom. Some of these robots use artificial intelligence (AI) to respond to what students need right there and then.

Educational robotics is also about helping students learn important skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It's a hands-on way to bring different subjects together, making learning more about "doing" and less about memorizing. Students are able to think logically, solve problems creatively, and learn both the hard technical skills and the softer skills like teamwork.

The role of robotics in modern classrooms

Educational robots in modern classrooms can change the way students of different age groups learn. These robots are not just tools; they're active participants in the learning process, making education more engaging and interactive.

More engaging learning process

Educational robots are great at getting students involved and excited about lessons. They encourage kids to solve problems, work together, and think creatively.

For example, in a classroom with robots, students might work in teams to build and program a robot. This kind of hands-on experience is invaluable for developing critical thinking and creativity.

Development of social skills

Robots also play a special role in helping students develop social and communication skills. For some kids, especially those who are shy or have special needs, talking to and interacting with a robot can be less scary than with other kids. This can build their confidence in social situations.

Enhancing computational thinking

Early on, kids can start developing computational skills, which are basically the foundations of mathematical thinking. These skills include the ability to do basic math operations like addition or subtraction, both in their heads and with pen and paper.

Teaches collaboration skills

One of the key roles of educational robots is teaching students skills that are vital both in and outside the classroom. When students work with robots, they often do so in groups, which fosters a strong sense of collaboration. This group dynamic teaches them to work effectively as a team, valuing and utilizing each member's unique skills.

Learning through challenges

Challenges and failures are inevitable in any learning process, especially when it comes to robotics. These moments are not setbacks but valuable learning opportunities.

As students navigate challenges, they learn to devise effective solutions, turning obstacles into stepping stones for success.

Examples of Educational robots in Action

Educational robots are already making a major impact in classrooms, and the results are incredibly impressive.

Let's look at some of the most popular educational robots in action today:

LEGO Mindstorms EV3

LEGO isn't just about fun building blocks - they've also created the Mindstorms EV3, an educational robot for kids over 10 years old. This robot is equipped with sensors and over 500 LEGO Technic components, enabling it to perform actions like moving, shooting, and crawling, among other things.


NAO is a popular educational robot used in classrooms. At 22 inches tall, this robot comes with two cameras, four microphones, and a bunch of other sensors.

What makes NAO special is its ability to interact with students just like a human. It can chat with them, listen in on class discussions, and even teach various subjects. NAO has been a hit in classrooms ranging from primary schools all the way up to universities.

Makeblock mBot

The Makeblock mBot is the perfect way to introduce children to the world of education robotics at an early age, focusing on computer science, electronics, and more.

It's simple to assemble and operate, making it ideal for beginners. Plus, it's a great base for older children who want to dive into more complex robotics education.

OWI 535

For secondary school students ready for more advanced projects, OWI 535 is a popular choice. This robot can perform a variety of functions and is user-friendly, allowing students to tweak and customize it to their liking.

Robo Wunderkind

Finally, there's the Robo Wunderkind, a set of blocks that kids can use to build their own functioning robot. It's designed with basic functions that react to noise, move around, and avoid obstacles, making it a great tool for learning the basics of robots.

Future trends and advancements in educational robotics

Educational robotics has an exciting future - no doubt about that. As technology like artificial intelligence keeps advancing, it's going to make learning in classrooms even more interesting. Imagine robots that work together in groups or are made from soft materials that are safer for kids. This is what researchers are working on right now.

Soon, more complex robots could talk and interact with students much more naturally, thanks to advanced systems like GPT-4. This means that learning with robots will feel more like having a conversation.

Swarm robotics is another exciting trend. In swarm robotics, the focus is on multiple robots working together, much like a hive of bees. This approach could lead to more dynamic classroom interactions.

Plus, educational robots can provide a solution for remote students who are unable to attend school.

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Getting started with robotics education: A guide for teachers

1. Understand the basics

Start by familiarizing yourself with the basics of robotics. Understanding the fundamental concepts will help you feel more confident with your teaching when you first introduce students to educational robotics.

2. Choose the right robot

There is a wide range of educational robots out there, from simple ones for young kids to more advanced models for older students. Consider the age and skill level of your students, and choose a robot that matches their needs.

Some of the most popular educational robots for various age groups are NAO and LEGO Mindstorms.

3. Incorporate robotics into your curriculum

Consider how robotics can fit into your current curriculum, as well as how you can tailor it to different grades.

For younger students, the focus should be on understanding the real-world applications of robotics. The curriculum should enable them to build simple robotics projects without complex wiring or connections.

As students progress, they should start exploring electronics and coding in more detail.

4. Attend training

Look out for workshops and professional development courses on educational robotics. These can be great opportunities to learn from experts and connect with other educators who are also using robotics in their classrooms.

Remember, you're preparing students to potentially launch a career in robotics!


Will educational robots replace teachers?

No, educational robots will not replace teachers. Instead, they are more likely to supplement and support teachers in the classroom. The idea of completely replacing teachers with humanoid robots is not practical or economically feasible. Rather, using technology alongside traditional teaching methods benefits both students and teachers, enhancing the overall learning experience.

What are the types of educational robotics?

There are several types of educational robots, each suitable for different learning levels and age groups. For example:

  • Pre-built robots - These are basic and come fully assembled and programmed. They're ideal for younger students to learn basic programming concepts.
  • Programmable robots - More advanced than pre-built robots, these require students to assemble and program them. They're used to teach coding and more complex robotics concepts.
  • Humanoid robots - These are designed to look and move like humans, perform various tasks, and teach advanced robotics concepts such as balance and motion.
  • Modular robots - These robots consist of multiple modules that can be assembled in various ways. Modular robots are used for teaching mechanical engineering and advanced robotics education.


Educational robots are changing the way knowledge and information are taught and learned. By bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world applications, robots are making the learning process more engaging and insightful.

From small, programmable robots for young learners to more sophisticated, AI-equipped machines for older students, these tools are reshaping education at every level.

Educational robots are not here to replace teachers but to support and enhance their teaching methods.

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