Despite the increasingly widespread adoption of educational robots, many of us still fall victim to stubborn myths about the benefits of these mechanical classroom tools.
A common misconception of robots is that they teach a narrow stream of subjects, educating students solely on IT, robotics, and coding and, looking at robots with their various motors, nuts and bolts and programming languages, you can understand why such myths have developed. After all, why would a robotic device introduce mathematical principles? How does coding relate to angles? Or fractions?
But at the end of the day, a myth is a myth. In reality, there’s lots of maths in robots!
The fundamentals of robotics are directly connected to important maths skills. After all, how could you programme a robot to walk from A to Z without counting? A significant amount of roboticists’ time is spent carefully crafting mathematical equations during the modelling, planning and execution stages. For instance, maths is used to determine the correct sized parts, to test performance and to calculate the measurements to perform the tasks.
Educational robots are excellent tools for introducing and exciting children about maths. It’s no secret that children are intrigued by robotics; from the first time they ‘bring it to life’ with programming, an instant connection is formed. Creating a “hook” that encourages students to immerse themselves in the world of mathematics.
As a visual, hand-on approach, robotics illuminates exactly how numbers and calculations on a page relate to construction and movement, bringing maths to life in front of student’s eyes. Take Marty the Robot’s “What is an Angle?” lesson for example. During this lesson, learners are challenged to programme Marty’s arms to different degrees and as such are introduced to various angles. Applying their skills through a real-world setting, allows students to learn and appreciate the value of mathematics in their daily lives.