ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION APPLIED TO EDUCATION: A NEW KIND OF ROBOT TEACHER?
The robots, despite being commercially accessible for multiple functionalities and in different modalities, are still an innovative topic and represent great opportunities for the research and development in the education and culture of the society. In this article, the use of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) robots is developed and proposed, as a resource to support teaching processes. The revision starts describing the gradual utilization of robots in the modern educational institution, by means of examples, indicating cases, perceptions, challenges and/or opportunities as the text advances. The role that the AI (artificial intelligence) plays is pointed out, as well as its current situation, different type of robot implementations and their application in education, while going more and more into the RPA option, showing application cases from the private enterprise and highlighting the improvements accomplished. The method used for the research is explained, which basically consists of the compilation and revision of the related literature, in order to validate the authenticity and innovation of the proposed hypothesis based in RPA, followed by the design of a use case diagram of the robot (operability), the development (software programming) and testing of the specified functionalities, considering different perspectives: in favour and against the project. The work continues with the demonstration of results achieved, including a video of the robot in progress (named Aileen) having an exchange with a student of 11 years old, who interact without interruption for about 10 minutes during a teaching-learning process, in Spanish language (with English subtitles). Before ending, to highlight the widespread opportunity and scope, some of the author experiences about complementary, but pertinent, technology are shared, taking into account emotional factors, through the use of facial expression recognition, eye tracking and the reading of brain’s electrical activity with EEG (electroencephalography), among others, and the development potential with the current RPA technology (e.g. an updated version of Aileen). The importance of AI and autonomous systems in the society is emphasized, and the achievements and lessons learned with the RPA robot are reviewed, including the impact and opportunities for governments and educational institutions with its eventual incorporation.