Japanese University uses robots to hold virtual graduation under Lockdown
‘Graduation day’ has been pretty anticlimactic for students amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In most cases, graduates are getting their diploma through the mail which, if you’re opening the letter in your pyjamas at home, probably doesn’t feel all that special.
One university in Japan, however, is making sure their students get their fair share of the rite of passage.
The Business Breakthrough University (BBT) in Tokyo has found a genius way to make sure they still honour the students graduating from college – using technology.
Since students couldn’t attend their graduation ceremony, the university enlisted the help of robots.
The robots, wearing tablets with some of the students’ faces on it (it would be too hard to show every student’s face), rotated around the room while wearing a graduation cap and gown.
They also had arms to accept their degrees and were remotely operated by a small number of students with experience in handling them.
The students operating the ‘newme’ robots from their homes had their faces on the tablet screen as they went up to collect degrees on behalf of their graduate mates.
Logistically, it would’ve taken hours and a lot of technical effort to switch the screens and show every graduate.
So the robot geniuses were picked to stand in for the rest of their peers.
The remaining graduates watched online from Zoom as their names were called out.
Distinguished professors and university staff were still at hand, though few in numbers to avoid a mass gathering amid the coronavirus lockdown.