Virtual Instructor Intervention of LEGO Robotics

A virtual instructor (VI) is an autonomous entity whose main objective is to deliver personalized instruction to human beings and to improve human learning performance by combining knowledge of empirically researched instructional (i.e., pedagogical, andragogical) techniques of how human’s learn & behave. A VI may be embodied (e.g., graphical, holographic, robotic, etc.), non-embodied (i.e., without an identified form), verbal, non-verbal, ubiquitous, accessible from mixed reality environments, and serve as a continuous assistant to continually improve human learning performance across cultural and socio-economic lines. A virtual instructor provides a personalized human learning experience by applying empirically evaluated and tested instructional techniques for improving human learning.

For robotics instruction, a virtual instructor is distributed in a mixed reality environment (e.g., virtual reality or augmented) with capabilities to provide personalized instruction on conceptual and psychomotor tasks. For learning psychomotor tasks, the learner interfaces with the virtual instructor wearing an augmented reality like heads-up display (HMD)

The HMD is equipped with sensors including, but not limited to a camera, which is used to recognize and select parts. Depending on the step along a task, this feature assists the learner identify which part to grab for completing, for example, a robot assembly task. For learning conceptual tasks, the learner uses the traditional keyboard and mouse and also a wearable headset (speaker and microphone) to interface with a virtual reality environment in order to learn basic concepts from three dimensional simulations of robotic equipment, torque, assembly processes, etc.

In both types of mixed reality environments, the learner communicates with the virtual instructor using voice commands and receives both computer synthesized voice and graphic instruction. The VI instructs by following a workflow guiding the learner through procedural steps towards completing a task. Throughout the entire human VI interaction, the VI subsystem continuously updates the learner profile and measures the learning performance

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