This puck-sized robot wants to be your kids' next teacher

Engineers say it will help the next generation of students learn to code

This robot could become a normal part of the classroom.
(Image credit: Screenshot/Root)

Inside Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Learning, engineers pore over everything from vibrating insoles to DNA microscopes. But in Radhika Nagpal's computer engineering group, it's the whiteboards that hum. There, you'll see Root, a small robot that looks like an oversized hexagonal hockey puck. In seeming defiance of gravity, Root glides up and down whiteboards, drawing, erasing, beeping, and flashing — and it could end up changing the way people of all ages learn to code.

"We wanted to design a robot that fits kindergarten through college," says Zivthan Dubrovsky, who runs the Wyss Institute's robotics platform. "Whiteboards are a common denominator for all classrooms — you can just stick a robot on there with zero set-up. It doesn't disrupt a classroom.”

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us