The Dutch Design Week is a major, nine-day event in Eindhoven where design in its broadest sense can be experienced. Expositions range from art-related, experimental and futuristic design to research-based design for society, and from well-known brands showing off their latest innovations to young entrepreneurs building on their network. Because of this variety of work, the event is visited by all sorts of people. Expert designers hunt for new talent, students let themselves be inspired, and other people just have a wonderful day out. I was chosen to participate on this big event with my Creative Technology final Bachelor assignment. Together with six other student projects, I represented University of Twente. In this article you can read and see more about Twente’s projects: https://www.utwente.nl/nieuws/!/2018/10/298872/ut-brengt-high-tech-human-touch-naar-dutch-design-week

During my graduation semester I developed an activity for primary school children to learn French words by teaching the words to a social robot, in the context of an adventure in France.

I did this project at the HMI research group, with the surface-bots from coBOTnity. The project is based on the idea that you learn something very well by teaching it to someone else. In addition, the project is based on the idea that you learn a language better when you experience this language more, and encounter the words in context, instead of learning lists of words. The novelty of the project is the combination of these two educational approaches, learning-by-teaching and storytelling, in an activity with a social robot. You can read more about the project on my website: https://portfolio.cr.utwente.nl/student/gijs/

Many people were interested in the project and were positively surprised by the ideas behind it. The robot physically riding around on the table, representing France, made people smile. Since I had a working prototype, children at the event could actually play with the activity and learn French words. The event is a great networking opportunity and a way to evaluate your project. With the latter I mean that you can find out what aspects of the project are most appreciated, based on people’s reactions. Next to this, several people had great ideas on how to further develop the project. I liked it the most when my work inspired other students who were also busy with children and robots. Overall I had a great time in Eindhoven and people learned some French too!