Paper Session 4: Extending Reality – Technology as a Bridge I

Tuesday, April 4th: 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Robots in museum settings: exhibits, lego mindstorms, primary school students and museum education



Robots and robotics in museums first arrived at the end of the 20th century and comprise mostly a 21st-century development. Robots in museum settings can offer dynamic, constructive, educational, and communicative mechanisms between museums and their visitors. Robots have initially appeared as museum tour guides onsite and online. They then served as museum exhibits in the form of animatronics and within museum educational activities (Pang, Wong, & Seet, 2017). Also, as telepresence devices offering the opportunity to visit the museum remotely via a robot (Lupetti, Germak, & Giuliano, 2015). Studies on the role and integration of robots in exhibiting and promoting heritage in museums and cultural places are of particular importance, as they offer insights towards exhibition interpretation, visitors’ experiences, and museum educational developments.

Within this framework, our research focused on how robotic figures helped towards learning in a museum environment. We have studied the interpretative approaches of the integration of robotics in museum educational programs as well as the interaction between museum visitors and museum exhibits. Our case study relates to the Museum of Science and Technology in Thessaloniki, Greece, and its exhibition unit on ancient Greek technology. Lego Mindstorms, a hardware and software structure of programmable robots based on Lego building blocks, were used as educational tools, part of an educational program for primary school students in the permanent exhibition entitled Ancient Greek Technology. We studied how primary school students interacted with the exhibits via Lego Mindstorms and to what extent the aims and objectives of the educational program were met. Our sample was primary school students from public schools in the geographical department of central Macedonia, Greece. Our methodological tools included qualitative and quantitative research through questionnaire and students’ worksheets.

Research re

keywords: Keywords: Robots, robotics, museums, educational activities, pedagogy, Lego Mindstorsms, Ancient Greek Technology
Proposal ID: 11075