robots

Winky wants to prepare our children for the world of tomorrow...

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The robolution is on. By 2030, the number of robots could outnumber the number of humans on our planet. This is why the French startup Mainbot has chosen to prepare the new generations for tomorrow's world today by creating Winky, an educational robot for children aged 5 to 12, 100 % made in France.
 
Prom the École Polytechnique incubator, the startup Mainbot is dedicated to preparing children between the ages of 5 and 12 for the world of tomorrow by teaching them robotics and programming. To do so, it has created Winky, an interactive and customizable educational robot that has already been tested and approved by more than 4,000 families in the Ile-de-France region. The little robot is already available for pre-order since May 14th on the participative financing platform. Ulule for a delivery date scheduled for early November. Objective? To encourage creativity and stimulate children's imagination.
 

To teach robotics and programming to children from 5 to 12 years old.

Winky was first designed to help children understand how a robot works and to learn the basics of computer programming in a fun way. Indeed, the different behaviors of the robot are directly programmable from the Winky-Lab application on a smartphone or tablet. It will also be possible to learn how to assemble Winky thanks to a 24-step tutorial.
 
To go further, the Winky-Lab environment even allows children to create their own Winky applications. For example, they can transform Winky into an alarm clock or create new interactive games themselves.
Once the application has been programmed on the tablet from the Winky-Lab, it is possible to play it independently with Winky. Families can play smart games without the tablet, such as the "memory eyes" game where you have to remember Winky's expressions or the "drum machine" game where you have to remember the melody that has been made with Winky's touch zones.
 
Winky is the first educational robot, combining educational content and affective behaviour, to improve children's cognitive performance. Thanks to its edutainment approach, it improves both the level of concentration and the duration of children's learning sessions. A true learning companion, Winky is able to interact in real time with children to encourage them or, on the contrary, to help them correct their mistakes.
 

A fully customizable robot with integrated artificial intelligence  

For the startup, Winky being a robot that is both scalable and customizable, it responds to the constant concern of parents not to see their Christmas present end up in the closet after only a few days of use.
Each Winky can be completely personalized by your child in both appearance and behaviour.
By connecting to the Winky-Fab, children will be able to change Winky's appearance by drawing custom modules that will then be created using a 3D printer and delivered directly to your home. A starter kit including Winky-Panda, Winky-Lapin or Winky-Chat will allow Winky to easily adopt the characteristics of their favourite animal.
It will also be possible to customize Winky's behavior and sensitivity level. Thus, children will have the opportunity to influence Winky's personality. Thanks to its built-in artificial intelligence, Winky's personality will also evolve autonomously as he interacts with his environment.
 
 
This is the latest one, born at the Ecole Polytechnique, developed and marketed by Mainbot and accelerated within the X-UP, the startup incubator of the famous school.
Winky will be available for pre-order on the Ulule participatory financing platform from May 2019 for a delivery date in November 2019.
Sold on its release, it will nevertheless be possible to pre-order it on Ulule at very advantageous rates starting at 129 euros for the fastest.
 

Soon, will the children still need parents, teachers, ...?

Today's children interact with computers every day without realizing it. "The code is a key skill of the 21st century. But its acquisition requires tools adapted to the child's age. Visual programming languages, for starters, are very effective.explains Daniela Guengant-Silva, the company's B2B manager. Magic Makers, which offers fun activities to learn how to code to young people aged 7 to 18.
 
This little Winky robot wants to prepare them for tomorrow's world, by proposing about twenty challenges already available to realize concrete applications, by modulating them with adapted skill levels (beginner, initiated, multiplayer, ...).
 

There is, however, the acute social question of what human employment can be in a world where automation is accelerating. Matthieu Villemot, Professor of Philosophy at the Notre-Dame Faculty, Collège des Bernardins, the question arises The generalization of robots will raise increasingly serious ethical questions, and it is urgent to reflect on what we are prepared to delegate to them. With the ageing of the population, it would certainly be a shame to deprive ourselves of the support provided by robots for multiple tasks, including - why not? - to play Scrabble. But to replace all human helpers with robots is to deprive the person of the right to truly human relations. Programmed to please and satisfy, the robot will never have the complexity of a human being's relationships - a complexity that makes it all the salt. » 
 
The psychiatrist-psychoanalyst Serge Tisseron, member of the Académie des technologies since 2016, predicts that in the near future (1), that "all objects will have become 'robjects', both robots and objects, with a permanent generalized connection. »
 
For Paul Dumouchel, Professor of Philosophy at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, specialist in Hobbes and the philosophy and anthropology of emotions, and for Luisa Damiano, researcher in philosophy of the artificial sciences and Professor of logic at the University of Bergamo (Italy). (2)Building artificial companions is not only a technological adventure; it also requires knowing oneself and others, understanding what a social relationship is and grasping how the human mind works as it is oriented towards our interactions with each other, rather than knowing an environment that we would face alone.
Laurence Devillers, Professor in Artificial Intelligence, Affective Computing and Ethics at La Sorbonne, explained also that " the arrival of robots in our society often gives rise to fantasies and fears. Emotional and social robots already have their first applications in healthcare. An ethical reflection is necessary to frame the use of these objects having capacities to simulate dialogues, appearing to be emotional and capable of learning. We need to demystify, train in artificial intelligence and put human values back at the centre of the design of robotic systems. "

 
 
(1) "Le Jour où mon robot m'aimera - Vers l'empathie artificielle", Serge Tisseron - Edition Albin Michel, 2015
(2) "Vivre avec les robots", essay on artificial empathy, by Luisa Damiano and Paul Dumouchel - Editions du Seuil - February 2016
 
To go further:
- – « Waiting for the robots"by Antonio A. Casilli - Edition of Le Seuil, January 2019
- – « The Emotional Challenge - New pedagogical project "by Michel Claeys-Bouuaert - Editions Le Souffle d'or, February 2018
 

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