Educational Service Robots (Educational Service Robots) are service robots with teaching and learning intelligence. They are usually used to assist and manage teaching on topics such as STEAM education, language learning, and learning for special populations.Different from the common products in robot education, educational service robots have a fixed structure and generally do not support users to disassemble and assemble them by themselves.In recent years, under the background that countries around the world have promulgated the strategic deployment of robots and artificial intelligence, there have been more and more practical explorations of applying artificial intelligence technology and robots in the field of education.As a representative of the application of robots in the field of education, educational robots will become an important part of the intelligent learning environment.

In this issue of intelligent internal reference, we recommend Beijing Normal University's research report "2019 Global Education Robot Development White Paper" to explore innovative applications of educational robots and how to design and develop functions that meet the needs of various educational service objects for future education. Robot development indicates possible trends.If you want to collect the report of this article (2019 Global Education Robot Development White Paper), you can do it in the smart thing (public number:Zhidxcom) Reply to the keyword "nc400" to get.

The status quo of educational robot development

1, the main research institution of global educational robots

In the WoS core collection, from 1993 to 2018, 3060 was retrieved from academic literature related to educational robots. The earliest research began in 1966, published by RE WHALLON in Phi Delta Kappan, ROBOTS IN CLASSROOM, A LOOK ATAMERICAN EDUCATIONAL FACTORY-BERGEN. From 2014 to 2018, the research results related to educational robots totaled 1404. Compared with the total number of documents from 2012 to 2016, the number of researches on educational robots in 5 began to increase rapidly. The number of 2017 documents and The citation frequency reached its peak and 2018 declined.

▲ 2014-2018 annual educational robot research volume change trend
▲ 2014-2018 annual educational robot research volume change trend

According to the results of the keyword clustering analysis, the educational robots are divided into 5 groups:

1, Educational robot ontology research .This type of research focuses on the elaboration of the core components of the educational robotics field, such as the nature and goals of "education", "artificial intelligence" technology, and "robotics."This type of research mainly focuses on the concept, characteristics, classification and related theoretical analysis of educational robots.

2, Research on the role and influence of robot teaching . There are two types of keywords involved in the role and influence of robot teaching. One is the type and role of robots represented by "humanoid robots" and "Lego robots." In this type of research, some researchers point out that educational robots usually It plays three roles as a mentor, classmate and tool. Some researchers believe that robots play the three main roles of learning objects, tools and companions in teaching.

3. Educational robot design and research.Such research mainly involves keywords such as "mobile robot", "service robot", "robot design", "remote control", "programming", etc. This type of research focuses on robot type and design concept. On the one hand, relying on a specific robot, through certain program settings or design modifications, it can achieve the established teaching objectives or teaching functions. On the other hand, researchers are committed to developing and improving the technical design of robots to achieve teaching functions.

4. Research on robot teaching practice.The main research object of this kind of research is children. The research content includes robot course design, educational technology support, robot teaching, robot course practice effect, robot teaching practice scene analysis and so on.

5. Research on the application situation of educational robots.The application context of the robot includes two aspects. One is the field of teaching application field of the robot. The top three fields are general classroom, professional field and personal field. The second is the application of robots. K-12 education mainly involves three groups of children, primary school students and middle school students; special groups are suitable for all kinds of patients who need medical health assistance, such as children with autism; higher education mainly involves undergraduates and graduate students. Two types of people.

2, educational robot market product map

Starting from the target of educational services and possible application areas, there are two major analytical frameworks – the product analysis framework and the market analysis framework. According to the two analysis frameworks, the global 12 educational robot product types are shown below.

▲Product Analysis Framework
▲Product Analysis Framework

Twelve types of educational robot product application scenarios
▲ 12 educational robot product application scenarios

From the perspective of market development, first of all, educational robot products are mainly used in home and school fields, such as smart toys in the home, children's entertainment education companions, home assistants; remote control robots for general classrooms and special classrooms in schools, STEAM teaching aids; special education robots for autism in specialized classrooms or training institutions. Secondly, some products are still in the conceptual stage, such as classroom robot assistants and robot “teachers”. The functional design of such products still needs market validation. Thirdly, educational robot products in public places mainly involve safety education functions. Finally, the development of educational robots in professional training shows the potential of educational robots in various fields, such as industrial manufacturing training, surgical medical training, and rehabilitation care.

Analyzing 40 products from the global market, and according to the application field and role of the products, we can get the application scenarios of 12 types of products in the global market, as shown in the figure below.

▲ Application of twelve product types
▲ Application of twelve product types

According to the analysis of market conditions, the following conclusions can be drawn:First, based on educational resources, the development of targeted educational service functions is the winning weapon for intelligent robots to occupy the educational service market. Second, a new type of robot that combines the knowledge of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics will become a more popular STEAM teaching aid. Third, the proper ontology and appearance are the basis for the education robot to gain the trust of users, and the basis for educational robots to be competent for daily educational service activities. Fourth, the maneuverability of the robot affects the extent to which it is accepted by the user.

 Rich characters and broad applications

1, the content and implementation time of educational robots

Educational robots can play the role of 17: robot "nanny", robot life partner, robot life "assistant", robot health "assistant", robot learning "assistant", robot learning partner, robot learning consultant, robot teaching aid (toy), Robot "teacher", robot assistant, robot "assistant", elderly companion, robot guardian, robot safety educator, robot social service personnel, intelligent home management, intelligent classroom control. It can be seen that educational robots can be deeply integrated into various educational fields, mainly homes and schools, to provide rich educational services for various users.

From the perspective of demand content, most of them focus on the company's daily life and learning companionship and assistance. In addition, it also includes the assistance of special children, the care of young children, the companionship of the elderly, the assistants of teachers and parents. The maturity of 3 key technologies, including human-computer interaction technology, robot vision technology, and context-aware technology, as a criterion for defining time-course requirements, can determine short-term, medium-term, and long-term needs in various role functions, as shown below. Shown.

▲Each user group education robot demand
▲Each user group education robot demand
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2, educational robot demand analysis conclusion

People have a higher willingness to demand for educational robots . 85% of students and 90% of teachers want to own an educational robot.Students, teachers and parents have clearly expressed their needs for educational robots and have a positive attitude towards the use of educational robots.

English education and robotics education are requirements applicable to students of all levels.From the current development status of robots, the use of educational robots to assist students in learning English is indeed beneficial to the function of educational robots, and can meet the needs of some students to learn English. With the rise of artificial intelligence, programming education, and STEAM education, most teachers and students want to master the knowledge related to robots, so many groups have raised the need for robot education.

The needs of applicable families are obviously more than those of applicable schools.Among the 17 characters played by educational robots, except for robot social service personnel, which are only applicable to social public places, almost all other characters have the characteristics of applicable family fields, that is, the types of roles that are only applicable to the school field are very Less, only the robot assistant and the intelligent classroom control two roles.

The need for dialogue and emotional communication with students is more prominent. Many groups have clearly expressed the desire that robots can become students' companion partners, such as chatting, speaking, and distracting.
Psychological stress, companionship, emotional communication with students, psychological health counseling for students, regulation of emotions, and spiritual guidance for students.

The demand for educational robots to implement teaching according to the teaching rules is more prominent. Auxiliary student learning or teacher teaching is an absolute priority in all needs. Among these requirements, it is not only proposed that educational robots need to have a strong knowledge reserve, can answer questions and solve problems for students, implement some courses, etc., and also put forward requirements for robots to master the teaching rules.

People's needs are the future development direction of educational robots. On the whole, students, teachers and parents have put forward more needs, and a few of them have already been reflected in some educational robot products.
Most of the requirements have not been effectively implemented. The demand for educational robots proposed by students, teachers and parents represents the future direction of educational robots.

Special education robot exploration road

1, the key technology of educational robots

Three key technologies for the future development of educational robots:Human-computer interaction, machine vision, situational awareness.

Human-computer interaction.Human-Robot Interaction is mainly about the information interaction or dialogue between humans and robots. It is a comprehensive interdisciplinary subject closely related to cognitive psychology, ergonomics, linguistics, sociology, computer science and so on. . Human-computer interaction is the cutting-edge and key technology in the era of intelligent service robots. As a typical application of intelligent service robots in the field of education, educational robots are also inseparable from human-computer interaction technology in the design and development of educational service functions.

Machine vision . Machine Vision is a technology that uses machines instead of human eyes to make various measurements and judgments. The development of machine vision technology can create vision systems for robots that, like the role of the human visual system, enable robots to react to their surroundings in an intelligent and flexible manner. In the field of education, how to identify teaching scenes and develop more adaptive robots should be the focus of educational robot manufacturers.

Situational awareness.Context Awareness is the use of various complementary information at the time to make decisions when making decisions to ensure that the right decisions are made to support dynamic business and IT environments. In some areas of research, contextual awareness is used as a way to share, reflect, and collaborate. From an educational point of view, robots need to complete different types of educational services in a dynamic, unknown, unstructured and complex educational environment, which puts higher demands on the contextual awareness technology of educational robots. .

2, the status quo of educational robot design

The design and development of the educational robot body is still in its infancy.The ontology of the educational robot has not yet formed a systematic design plan, and no specifications have been formed in terms of architecture, bus, communication, interface, and standards;
In addition, the ontology design of educational robots has not yet formed a scale effect similar to computers and mobile phones; in addition, the content of basic research is only sporadically appearing in relatively independent technical links, which is insufficient to support the breakthrough of the entire industry. Sexual development.

Application scenario analysis is the starting point for educational robot design . There are two development orientations in the design and research of educational robots: one is scientific research oriented and the other is product production oriented. Regardless of the orientation design and research, in order to educate robots to enter the application practice of educational services, it is necessary to analyze the application scenarios first, and then determine the functions that need to be implemented in the scenarios according to the needs existing in the application scenarios. And possible implementation methods.

Intelligence is the focus of educational robot design.In the future 10 year, artificial intelligence will become the most disruptive technology, and upgrading the service experience of intelligent technology will be the focus of educational robot design. The intelligent representation of educational robots is supported by technologies such as human-computer interaction, machine vision, and situational awareness. It should have the attributes to actively meet the various educational needs of different groups of people.

Modular design is the trend of educational robot body design.Compared with electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones, the body structure of the robot has not yet formed a specification. The main feature is that the design of the machine components and hardware needs to match the shape of the robot. The modularization method is used to design the educational robot into multiple organic modules, and the necessary communication protocols and interfaces are used to transmit information and control commands, which is more suitable for the ontology design of educational robots.

The stacking method is usually used in the intelligent design of educational robots. On the one hand, the intelligent nature of educational robots is the application of artificial intelligence, which contains a variety of intelligent components, and the various intelligent components have not yet formed a system, stacking intelligence is currently a more effective method. On the other hand, the intelligence of the robot is equivalent to the computing power of the robot to a certain extent, and the intelligent computing operation of the educational robot contains too many computing requirements. One way to improve the intelligence of the robot is to design each AI function for the robot. Modules that distribute computing power requirements across modules to reduce the stress on the computing power of the main CPU. From a certain point of view, the method of using the modular structure of distributed multi-CPU to enhance the computing power of the robot is also a method of stacking intelligence.

Educational robots need to develop more education-applicable intelligence.Although educational robots do not replace the teaching functions of teachers, if educational robots are more qualified for educational services, on the one hand, it is to improve teaching efficiency, on the other hand, it needs to make breakthroughs in function. In this process, educational robots need to have more powerful functions in the classroom and family, which are the most reflective of the characteristics of educational services, to show their possible application value.

The status of the educational robot industry: Seven-layer chain that goes hand in hand

1, educational robot industry chain framework

By investigating the status quo of the manufacturers related to the educational robot industry, and aiming at the future development trend of the educational robot industry, the 7 layer industrial chain framework of the educational robot is based on the mature development of the tablet industry chain, as shown in the following figure.

▲Educational robot industry chain framework
▲Educational robot industry chain framework

Compared with industrial robots, educational robots are more complicated in form, composition and function. In addition, they are still in the early stage of entrepreneurial exploration. The enterprises in the 7 layer of educational robots are not strictly upstream and downstream. Businesses have multiple roles at the same time.

In the 7 layer industry chain framework of educational robots, "AI chip manufacturers" provide artificial intelligence chips required by robots, which is the basis for robot intelligence; "hardware manufacturers" provide motherboards, control boards, and steering gears that make up robots. , sensor, communication module, chassis moving mechanism, power supply and other components manufacturing, assembly and testing; "system platform developers" to develop and manage software and hardware resources system platform, providing the most important natural user interface for human-computer interaction (Natural User Interface (NUI); "Application Service Provider" develops various educational service function software including teaching and learning courses based on the system platform, and is provided by the "content provider" in the teaching and learning process. The “system integrator” is responsible for integrating market requirements and software and hardware functions into one final product; “channel vendors” deliver products to end consumers or users through various entities and virtual sales channels.

2, the development of the educational robot industry chain 

As market demand becomes more specific, technology development matures, and production costs decrease, the market will spontaneously form diverse competition and cooperation relationships to meet changing and diverse market demands, which in turn will lead to changes in the industry chain. Develop many industrial relationships.

According to the development status of the industrial chain and the development process of similar industries, the following 6 future industrial development trends can be compiled from upstream to downstream.

Educational robot industry chain forms a professional division of labor . Educational robots are still in the initial stage of development. At present, most educational robot manufacturers are involved in research, design, production, sales and other industrial chain links, such as Aldebaran in France to launch NAO. The family emotional intelligence robot Pepper, developed by Aldebaran manufacturers, Hon Hai Foxconn technology manufacturing, soft silver sales promotion, forming a trend of professional division of industry chain. With the gradual maturity of the service robot market, the future industrial chain of educational robots will develop in the direction of professional division of labor.

Service robot manufacturing technology matures and accelerates the development of educational robots . China enjoys the reputation of the world's factories. More than 70% of toys and 50% of mobile phones worldwide are made in China. In terms of policy, in the “Made in China 2025” plan, robots are listed as the top ten key development areas, and the goal of manufacturing development for ten years is planned. In the future, as hardware manufacturers mature their key components such as servo servos and reducers, the technology and cost of hardware manufacturing will decrease. This means that in addition to the mechanical components closely related to the form, the hardware products of the robot are different. Theization will become smaller and smaller, and application in various fields will become the focus of development, which will accelerate the development of various educational applications of robots.

Natural human-computer interaction will become a key technology in the industry.Educational robots have the advantage of teaching and learning activities compared to other smart devices. The advantages are natural human-computer interaction, such as physical movement, voice, image recognition, etc., and the ability to give robots the wisdom of thinking like humans. Let robots and robots or robots and humans can naturally perceive interactions like humans to reduce the use obstacles in learning. It has a special important role in the field of education, making natural human-computer interaction become the key technology of educational robots.

Education-exclusive application service programs and content highlight the value of market products.The advantage of educational robots lies in the design of natural human-computer interaction. After the formation of the robot ecosystem, third-party software developers will be able to use the natural human-computer interaction interface to develop rich teaching and learning contexts with the robot's facial expression and perceptual input functions. Application services and content. In the future, regardless of whether the educational robot is used alone or in conjunction with other mobile devices, in the market for the service robot, it will attract more third-party developers to join, and the application service and content provider exclusively for educational robots. Will create a huge business opportunity.

Professional educational robots have become a blue ocean market for system integrators.In addition to exploring the application of robots to replace labor, system integrators have the opportunity to develop teaching applications in the fields of traditional skills retention and professional technical training, such as apprenticeship. Even robots can be integrated into their personal lives, and they can learn various life skills in the way they do in middle school and in school. In today's fast-changing market, system integrators will invest in professional field research and development of educational robots, and will have the opportunity to become a blue ocean market.

Industry chain ecosystem competition . Nowadays, while robot manufacturing, system platforms, third-party applications, and educational content are becoming more mature, only by closely cooperating and forming alliances to form an ecosystem of complete industrial chains can we build a huge competitive advantage in the industry chain. Therefore, for members of various industrial chains, in addition to focusing on the development of technology and market in the field, it is also possible to refer to the conceptual development of the ecosystem.

 In the future, the ecosystem of Qianfan Competition

Analysis and forecast of comprehensive market products, industry chain and market scale, and forecast of future development of educational robots, as shown in the following figure.

▲Educational robot's future market development forecast
▲Educational robot's future market development forecast

1, market size

Based on the relevant market research reports of global educational robots and the development of similar products, this white paper proposes market model predictions for educational robots including 4 aspects of end consumption, educational institutions, educational kits and STEAM toy kit market models. Among them, the market model of terminal consumption and educational institutions is used to estimate the market model of educational service robots; the educational suite and STEAM toy suite market model are used to estimate the market size of robot education products. The market size of 2019~2023 models for 4 models is estimated in detail, as shown in the following figure.

▲ 2019~2023 annual educational robot market size estimate (unit: billion US dollars)
▲ 2019~2023 annual educational robot market size estimate (unit: billion US dollars)

The scale of the end consumer market is estimated to reach US$2023 billion by 3272.In terms of educational service robots, the product is similar to the system structure of personal mobile computers and tablet computers. Referring to the development history of the above two products, we can find that a new product enters the education market from the consumer market and takes an average of 3 years. With the average price falling to the level of 500, the pre-3 annual shipments to the education market can reach approximately 600 units.

The market size of educational institutions is estimated to reach US$2023 billion by 24. Referring to the US 2010 Annual Total Labor Production Report, the ratio of service labor to education is 17%, and the research team estimates that service robots can replace about 8% of total education labor production. According to market research firm Markets and Markets, global service robots will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2016% from 2022 to 15.18, and service robots will form a new labor market.

The education kit market is estimated to reach US$2023 billion by 31. From the perspective of robot education, programmable robots as an educational suite, the market size is based on Markets and Markets report statistics, 2018 annual programmable robot market value 18.34 billion US dollars, Redfield Report report that programmable robots will grow at a compound growth rate of 11.57% .

STEAM Toy Suite Market Size Estimate - 2023 Billion Dollars to 36 Year . More and more smart toys are designed with STEAM education in mind. According to Infiniti Research (2014), the global toy market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.17%. The Toy Industry Association report shows that products with STEAM education account for approximately 3% of all toys.

Based on the relevant market research reports of educational robots around the world and the development of similar products, it is estimated that the 2023 educational robot market will reach 841 billion dollars. Among them, the educational service robot has a larger revenue than the robot education market, and the 2022 estimate is expected to increase further. In addition, according to Markets and Markets (2016) forecasts, service and content revenue in the education services robot market is estimated to account for 78% of the overall market.

2, future market competition and cooperation analysis

According to the core value of educational service robot products, it can be divided into two types: general purpose and special type. For example: children's entertainment education companions, home assistants, smart toy product types, robot products to meet the core values ​​of education, entertainment, care, games and other multi-functional services, forming a general-purpose educational service robot. On the other hand, classroom teaching assistant robots, special education robots, medical surgery training robots, robot "teachers", industrial manufacturing training and other product types, robot products provide the core value of exclusive design for educational situations, forming a dedicated educational service robot.

The market competition of general-purpose educational service robots attracts enough third-party application developers to join. On the one hand, the value of developing a platform service application is developed. On the other hand, create more demand for users in the market. When the number of users reaches a certain base, the platform gradually forms an industry standard and develops a unique application store to drive the development of upstream and downstream manufacturers in the industry chain. The competition in this ecosystem is similar to the development of laptops, smart phones, and tablets. The development of the general education service robot market relationship is shown in the figure.

▲Universal education service robot market relationship development
▲Universal education service robot market relationship development

The dedicated education service robot market will play an important role by channel vendors and system integrators. System integrators create robotic products with unique brand value, and become an important choice for consumers in the market through channel promotion. The demand for teaching and learning promotes the development of content providers, application service providers, system platform developers, hardware manufacturers and AI chip manufacturers throughout the industry chain. This ecosystem is like the development of educational technology products such as educational flat panels, electronic interactive whiteboards, and intelligent classrooms. System integrators will play the role of solution providers to meet the value needs of various educational robot brands. The development of the dedicated education service robot market relationship is shown in the following figure.

▲Specialized education service robot market relationship development
▲Specialized education service robot market relationship development

Smart things think thatEducational robots are representative of the application of robots in the field of education. They are a typical example of the application of artificial intelligence, speech recognition, human-computer interaction, machine vision, situational perception and other technologies in education. It aims to cultivate students' analytical, creative and practical skills. Target.Educational robots will become a trend in the future. Today's society needs talents with innovative consciousness and creative thinking, especially in the future society.By 2023, it is predicted that the educational robot market will exceed 3000 billion U.S. dollars. Among them, the educational service robot market accounts for a relatively large proportion, and its service and content revenue account for more than 77.5% of the entire market.The emerging blue ocean market of educational service robots is worthwhile for manufacturers to tackle technical bottlenecks and invest in development.In the future, educational robots will be developed for general-purpose and special-purpose products, and each will develop a unique industrial chain ecological model.As the market focuses on product demand mining in segmented areas, under the overall layout, companies can invest their vision on a more segmented and more specialized educational robot product market to enter the blue ocean market of educational robots.

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