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Cloud environment to creating and co-creating humanoid personal robots behaiors: applications for entertainment and education

Abstract

Knowledge about computing and computer programming is being recognized as essential part of the school syllabi of alphabetization of the 21th century. It is understood that such knowledge should be part of the core of the school syllabus together with subjects such as biology, physics, science related subjects, technology, engineering and mathematics (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - STEM). Following this direction, several campaigns such as the "Hour of Code" (a worldwide initiative) and the "Code Club" were created to promote the knowledge of computing and computer programming among children and teenagers. In fact, there is certain urgency in the consolidation of competences and skills related to this type of knowledge to supply the number of new job positions for computer programming professionals. For example, in the USA there is an estimate of 731,800 positions for the period from 2012 to 2022; in India, the estimate is at least 1 million positions for the period from 2015 to 2022; for Brazil there will be a deficit of 280 thousand such professionals in 2020. The programming schools (Code Schools - CS) appeared with a specific focus in the training of computer programming professionals. The CSs offer several online resources for the learning of computer programming, but they do not present any educational/pedagogical strategies that effectively is designed to integrate computing and computer programming to any school syllabus. Our proposal aims to answer the demands related to the school syllabus in the alphabetization of the 21th century and to the training of computing professionals. It is a radical innovation of technological basis. We propose a web-based platform (each action occurs on the browser with no need of installing additional softwares) which results in the composition of an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) with a simulator for humanoid robots. The user just needs a computer with Internet connection to access the IDE and the simulator to explore the scenarios and characters (virtual or physical: virtual characters are models of physical humanoid robots) created for the practice of teaching/learning. We also propose a radical in the methodology of teaching/learning based on the use of this platform. The learning process of computer programming is focused in the behavior of the humanoid robots as a real-time response (visual response of the behavior watched in the robotic simulator) to the code (computer program) produced in the IDE by the learner. The coding refers to a possible solution of a problem-based situation presented in the robotic simulator environment. In the context of the school syllabus for the alphabetization in the 21th century, this environment works as a medium for cross-disciplinary (to explore the interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity intrinsic to computer science) in a natural way. In this sense, we understand that our proposal of radical innovation based in software in the cloud combined with an active methodology (it leads the learner to adopt a proactive attitude of knowledge building) of teaching/learning which is a fundamental and disruptive transformation in the area of education. The proposed platform and methodology are the state-of-the-art of the use of humanoid robots (virtual and physical) in the area of education. Obviously, we believe in the popularization of humanoid robots. In fact, there is an estimate that in 2020 the world market of personal humanoid robots will circulate US$17.4 billion. This estimate rises significantly the potential market for the use of our platform and learning/teaching methodology. In order to develop this research, we have a team of professionals who work for over 10 years in the area of education and information technology. All members have master degrees from the University of São Paulo. At last, we are negotiating partnerships with public universities and with secondary and technical education schools. (AU)

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