A robot from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne may be able to help students improve their cursive and boost their self-esteem—by letting them teach it how to write.
Teaching robots aren’t new, but the CoWriter system seems to be unique in that it acts more like a student than a teacher. The 2-foot-tall robot, which is programmed to have poor handwriting, writes words on a tablet using “deformed letters,” then allows the student to correct its mistakes. Over time, CoWriter’s handwriting slowly improves as the student teaches the robot how to write.
While CoWriter is still only a prototype, the researchers have already tested the system with about 70 students with encouraging results.
A version of this article appeared in the March 25, 2015 edition of Education Week as Robot Teaches Handwriting Via Student Role Reversal