As the battle to the coronavirus pandemic continues, more and more establishments are suspending their operations, and schools were among the first ones to do so. Japan is primarily known for its innovative technologies.
World's first online graduation
A group of Japanese students is not letting the pandemic ruin their graduation. Students attending the Business Breakthrough University (BBT) in Tokyo used the New telepresence robots to walk across the stage and accept their diploma all the while they are in self-isolation inside their homes.
Just like in any graduation ceremonies, the stand-in robots were dressed in a cap and gown and fitted with tablets to act as their heads, which shows the faces of the students using Zoom.
Those students who attended their graduation ceremony remotely operated the robots in what is known today as the "world's first online graduation ceremony." Four students virtually walked across the stage at the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo on March 28.
It works just like regular graduation. The moderator calls the student's name and a 'newme' robot approaches wearing a graduation gown and hat from BBT University and on the tablet the face of the graduate who operated it.
'While new corona measures are required, the introduction of avatars can realize a warm online graduation ceremony," said Professor Shugo Yanaka, Dean of Global Business Administration, Faculty of Business Administration from Business BreakThrough University (BBT).
Business BreakThrough University hopes that their inventive way of conducting the virtual graduation can be helpful to other educational institutions who are having difficulty holding graduation rites and entrance ceremonies.
The newme is an avatar robot is made up of a base, large display, camera, microphone, speakers, and collision sensors. Newme can move around and communicate with a partner in any remote location.
Shinya Katanozaka, President and CEO of ANA HD, said that ANA HD's vision of a better connected world relies on the latest inventions and innovations in haptic robotics, VR/AR, and AI is transforming the way how humans interact.
"ANA HD is built on connecting people, and Avatars have the potential to connect people across the world in a way that traditional travel cannot and is a continuation of our core beliefs," Katanozaka added.
Avatars will open up new possibilities and help reshape aspects in the business and education fields as well as healthcare and entertainment industries.
A year ago, Newme telepresence robots were also utilized by all Nippon Airways to allow people to experience faraway places without having to travel there in person. It enables human users to see and interact with the robot's surroundings through the high definition of 2,000 videos that the robots transmit.
But not just that, Newme robot have also enabled people suffering from debilitating paralysis to return to their workplaces as robot waiters in some Japanese cafés.
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