University of Gothenburg
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Personalized learning with Amica

An app and a robot prototype aimed at providing enhanced learning support for students with disabilities have been developed by Gothenburg university students.

The students conducting the project have been enrolled in the course "Cognitive Perspectives in Human-Machine Interaction," part of the "Cognitive Science" program.

By searching to understand the challenges faced by individuals with diverse needs and conducting interviews with students and a study counsellor, the team has created a set of tools capable of addressing attention, orientation, and time management skills.

The troubles of transitioning to university

Starting university can be a demanding experience, especially as students must navigate independent learning and manage their time effectively. While universities provide support for students with documented disabilities, not everyone is aware of neurodevelopmental disorders or may choose not to disclose their condition, making it crucial to explore technological solutions that cater to a range of needs. This is where the app and the robot enter the scene.

Building emotional connections

The robot, by the students named “Amica”, serves as an empathetic companion, establishing a strong emotional bond with the user through expressive facial features and the ability to convey emotions such as happiness or sadness.

The robot possesses various capabilities to support students academically. It can read texts aloud, engage in dialogue, and answer questions, catering to diverse learning preferences. Connected to ChatGPT (?), the robot provides quick and concise summaries to help users gain essential knowledge or understand complex concepts. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with dyslexia or those seeking efficient access to information.

The robot also serves as a motivational aid, offering encouragement and support during challenging moments.

Time management and breaks

The app and robot duo helps users to optimize their study time and routines. The app notifies the robot when it's time for a study break, and the robot suggests activities. Whether it's going for a walk, stretching, or simply taking a breather, the robot tailors its suggestions to the user's needs. Additionally, the robot assesses the user's focus and study intensity, adapting the length of breaks accordingly. This personalized approach ensures that users maintain their productivity and focus throughout their study sessions.

Personalized Study Techniques

Recognizing that every student has a unique learning style, the app provides guidance on suitable study techniques tailored to the user's preferences. By presenting various methods, users can choose the approach that aligns best with their individual needs, optimizing their learning experience.

The students developed the app and robot prototype according to a design thinking structure, following the steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. The board in the image visualizes the process.