Robotic Telepresence in Distance Learning

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

A comprehensive look at the state of Robotic Telepresence in Distance Learning including an overview of current players in the space will be critically examined.

Extended Abstract

Since the late 1960's, the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) has delivered Stanford University Engineering courses to practicing computer scientists and engineers. Initially offered through the Educational Broadband Service (formally known as Instructional Television Fixed Service or ITFS), remote students were able to actively engage with live classes through the one-way video, two-way audio line-of-site microwave technology.

As the course offerings migrated to an on-demand video streaming based delivery in the late 1990's, the live engagement functionality was no longer available. True live course delivery was relegated to a handful of course offerings that employed traditional videoconferencing solutions which typically allowed for the "program feed" of the multi-camera productions.

The last decade has witnessed the extraordinary maturation of web-based video conferencing services such as Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx, Skype for Business, Zoom, etc. However, the ability to engage visually at a truly immersive and independent way remained limited. While in its infancy, Robotic Telepresence is rapidly advancing that potential.

Drawing from a pilot conducted by SCPD's Learning Innovation team, this session will provide a comprehensive look at the state of Robotic Telepresence in Distance Learning. An overview of current and emerging players in the space and the physical form factors which range from small desktop accessories that couple with existing smart devices to dedicated proprietary presence systems will be critically examined.

Any number of possible integration scenarios are considered including guest speakers, distance students, overseas studies collaboration, remote labs, real-time tours, and accessibility solutions.

Specific ideas participants will take away from the sessionÖ
ï Identify the telepresence robots specific attributes and limitations
ï Introduce a dynamic strategy for distance learning
ï Lower the bar for remote instruction, end-users
ï Provide a cost effective solution for homebound students
ï Cost analysis, technical requirements

The session will feature a live demonstration from Stanford University