If your design of a human body is based on “sticks with a little ball on top”, which is supposed to be a human head. You just have to wait a few more years, and pray that in the future we can have the Teacher device, which for now is a prototype created by a student named Saurabh Datta, from the Interactive Design Institute in Copenhagen. Teacher, holds people’s wrist in order to force them to make the necessary movements to draw.
Datta explained about the Teacher device in an interview:
“I remember when I first started learning the alphabet, my teacher would hold my hand with which I was holding the pencil to help me trace the letters over and over again on the paper.
When he left me alone, I would continue with the routine until I acquired muscle memory and managed to do it without help. It’s very important to have your hand held when you want to learn a new skill.”
Muscle memory, which is what the Teacher device is based on.
Datta consolidated this magnificent idea for his thesis project after having gone through several others, for example, the one that precedes the Teacher device was something very similar. This one taught users how to play the keys of a piano, and thanks to its predecessor, the student was able to affirm his project and commented his intentions with this, the definitive one:
“I wanted to explore how we can use certain aspects of force feedback systems to learn new skills with the help of muscle memory development. I was interested in how technology can be used to aid and enhance the development of this.”
Datta created and programmed three prototypes using parts from a 3D printer and nodes from an electromyography [EMG] (a technique used to measure the electrical activity of the thighs), in order to control the user’s resistance.
However, when the time came to put it to the test, he found that the interaction between people and the device was not entirely straightforward. For there were times when people preferred to take control over the machine.
Finally, Datta was able to conclude that while the learning devices of the future have the potential to help us acquire skills. There may still be a long way to go to find the balance between the robots we teach and the robots we learn from.
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