Robots replace Japanese students
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, spring graduation ceremonies in Japan have been cancelled; however, Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo found an innovative solution. They created avatar robots “Newme” which were dressed in robes and caps for the occasion.
The robotic faces were tablets displaying the graduates' faces who were logged on from home, controlling the robots via their laptops. Four by four, these avatars moved towards the podium to receive their diplomas while school staff cheered "Congratulations!" Kenichi Ohmae,
President of the university, put the diplomas on a rack mounted on each robot's midsection. Kazuki Tamura said he felt it was an unique experience to receive a certificate publicly from his private home. In order to prevent mass gatherings due to COVID-19, this approach could be adopted by other schools as well.
With social distancing protocols kept in mind, only four graduates attended remotely and made this impressive ceremony possible.