Scary, out-of-control robots have long been a favorite Hollywood narrative--but sometimes that narrative becomes reality, like this vintage tin robot.

5 places to learn about creepy robots this Halloween

Scary, out-of-control robots have long been a favorite Hollywood narrative--but sometimes that narrative becomes reality

Robotics is pretty awesome–our eSchool News Robotics Guide has reinforced that concept for anyone who wasn’t totally convinced. But sometimes, robotics and robots can also be a liiiiittle scary.

To close out robotics month and celebrate Halloween (because you’re never too old to celebrate Halloween), we’re taking a fun look at times when robotics or robots gave us a scare–or gave us some food for thought.

Some of these videos are probably a bit alarmist, and most of their “scary robots take over the world” predictions will come to fruition. Nonetheless, it’s fun to look at where robots started and where, guided by programmers and professionals whose interest in robotics began at an early age, they’re headed.

1. This video, the Top 10 Scariest AI Robot Moments, tackles Alexa, humanoid robots, self-driving cars, and more.

2. At CES 2019, this narrator encountered products that “might make you fear the artificial future we’re facing right around the corner.” AI has come a long way, and is heading down a super innovative path. But according to this narrator, companies are working really hard to replicate and replace human beings in general.

3. This list is pretty cool – AI cannibals, rogue chatbots, philosophical AI-powered digital assistants, and more.

4. Not all of the robots on this list are scary–WALL-E is pretty awesome. Explore this rundown for a look at some of the most memorable robots, both endearing and unsettling.

5. Here, you’ll find a breakdown of seven creepy things robots have already done, to the surprise of their creators. There’s also a caution to programmers to make sure their algorithms are solving specific problems and not “exploiting shortcuts.”

For all the hype, movies and theories about scary and “borderline human” robots could very well inspire students to delve into robotics education to learn the “whys” behind robotics. In fact, much of today’s impactful teaching focuses on the “why” behind the concept being taught.

When it comes to STEM concepts such as robotics, educators and students alike may wonder why they should learn robotics if they don’t plan to pursue it in college or the workforce. The answer? Robotics education will help students for life.

Students are more engaged when they understand how classroom concepts apply in the real world. Learning how robotics, science, engineering, and other STEM concepts are used to solve complex problems speaks to the “why” behind robotics education. When students tackle a group robotics challenge, for example, they’re building collaboration and teamwork skills as they learn to work with one another and listen to each team member’s input. Communication skills are emphasized, as is grit–the ability to persist in meeting a challenge even if they first fail or experience setbacks.

Learn more about how robotics can impact students for life.

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Laura Ascione

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