Students in Japan Use Robots to Virtually Attend Their Graduation Ceremony

Students in Japan Attend Graduation via Remote Control Robots

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many schools and universities to temporarily close, impacting over 91% of the world’s student population (according to UNESCO). Many of these students have had to adjust to learning from home, by communicating with teachers and fellow students online. Additionally, most education institutions have had to cancel their graduation ceremonies. However, thanks to technology, students of Business Breakthrough (BBT) University found a way to let the show go on.

The Tokyo-based university hosted its graduation ceremony on March 28 at the Hotel Grand Palace, in Chiyoda. Since the graduating students couldn’t be there in person, some opted to join in via Zoom calls, but others decided to use remote-controlled robots to collect their diplomas. Developed by ANA Holdings, the “newme” robots were dressed in graduation robes, had “hands” to accept the diplomas, and each one even had a tablet positioned on its “face,” so the students could video call and appear as though they’re really there. “When I entered, I never thought I would operate my avatar and attend the graduation ceremony,” said one student. “Receiving a diploma in a public space while in a private space was a novel experience.”

Professor Shugo Yanaka, Dean of Global Business Administration at BBT University, who planned the “Avatar graduation ceremony,” hopes his idea will inspire other schools to create similar virtual graduations. “We are pleased to have a warm online graduation ceremony with the introduction of avatars as new corona[virus] measures are required,” he said in a statement. “We hope this initiative will be helpful to educational institutions who are struggling to hold graduation and entrance ceremonies.”

Rather than cancel their graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these Japanese students used remote control robots to virtually accept their diplomas.

Students in Japan Attend Graduation via Remote Control Robots

Students in Japan Attend Graduation via Remote Control Robots

Students in Japan Attend Graduation via Remote Control Robots

Business Breakthrough (BBT) University: Website | Facebook | Twitter
h/t: [IFL Science!]

All images via Business Breakthrough (BBT) University.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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