Virtual graduation: how students in self-isolation received diplomas with the help of robots
Students at Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo lost the opportunity to conduct traditional graduation due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they managed to gain a unique experience by conducting a graduation virtually, writes Business Insider.
Using Newme mobile robots with tablets to make calls with Zoom, alumni were able to virtually “walk” the stage and receive their diplomas at the Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo on March 28th.
Students around the world have found creative ways to recreate canceled events. For example, a group of eight elementary school students held a virtual graduation ceremony in the popular Minecraft game. Students at the University of Pennsylvania were inspired by this ceremony and recreated their entire Minecraft campus with plans for graduation and other events on the Internet.
Virtual meetings have become more common, but BBT University has taken a new approach, using remote-controlled robots to significantly increase the sense of presence at the ceremony.
The ceremony was only partially virtual, physically attended by four students and several administrators.
This ceremony was made possible thanks to the Newme robot, designed to work as a remotely controlled custom avatar, which is also used to visit museums and other excursions.
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Avatars, who had a sign instead of a face, were dressed in typical graduation caps and mantles. Graduates themselves observed and experienced the ceremony through Zoom.
Avatars were controlled by several graduates who were physically present at the ceremony, which was held as traditionally as possible, with a speech from the president of the university.
本 日 は BBT 大学 の 卒業 式 で し た！
今 回 は 完全 オ ン ラ イ ン 開 開 催！ とと
遠隔 地 か ら 学生 も 参加 す る 新 し い 取 り 組 み で す。
本 企 画 の 総 合 プ ロ デ ュ ー サ ー は 、 谷中 学科 長 が 務 め て く だ さ い ま し た。 pic.twitter.com/4jv8mpK7UY
- BBT 大学 (公式) (@bbtu) March 28, 2020
The Dean of the Global Business Administration, Professor Sugo Yanaka, invented and planned this virtual ceremony. He expressed the hope that the idea of a virtual graduation could be useful for other institutions working on events.
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