Technology

A Japanese university used robots to hold a virtual graduation

A Japanese university used robots to hold a virtual graduation
Students who attended the graduation remotely operated the robots. (Image credit: Business Breakthrough University)

Due to the growing COVID-19 cases, most schools and colleges have been temporarily closed. Major universities and B-schools have either delayed or cancelled convocation ceremonies in response to COVID-19 prevention. But one university in Tokyo found a new way to hold a graduation ceremony amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Business Breakthrough University (BBT University) held a graduation ceremony on March 28 at Hotel Grand Palace at Chiyoda, Tokyo. Instead of graduates physically present at the ceremony, four students remotely operated “newme” robots, which accepted their diplomas.

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The newme robots, which are developed by ANA Holdings, had a tablet-like screen showing the faces of the graduates and arms to receive certificates on the student’ behalf. The robots were dressed in the signature cab and gown, allowing students to show their faces via Zoom.

Remote-Controlled Robots, Japanese university virtual graduation, ANA Group';s "Newme" robot, Business Breakthrough University The robots were dressed in the signature cab and gown, allowing students to show their faces via Zoom. (Image credit: Business Breakthrough University)

“When I enrolled, I never thought I would operate my avatar and attend the graduation ceremony. However, receiving a diploma in public is a novel experience,” an anonymous graduate said in the statement.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, schools and colleges have shut their doors. This has forced many educational institutions to turn to online education. Many colleges and schools are using video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet to conduct classes virtually. Thanks to technology, lectures are still being delivered and learning goes on.

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