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This Japanese university used robots and Zoom to conduct a virtual graduation ceremony

Robots walked up to the stage to receive the degrees on behalf of the students.
Robots walked up to the stage to receive the degrees on behalf of the students. (Business Breakthrough University)

Robots had a tablet with the students interacting through Zoom while receiving their degree virtually.

The ongoing lockdown due to Covid-19 didn't stop one university in Japan from holding its convocation. The Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo went ahead with its traditional ceremony as planned but instead of students present there were robots receiving their degrees.

The students obviously had a part to play in the traditional ceremony as they used Zoom to be present there virtually. How this worked was these robots had tablets attached to them through which the students connected via Zoom. The business university used ANA Group's Newme mobile robots which are almost life-size. Also, these robots even had the graduation gowns and caps on because, why not?

The robots had a tablet with the student's avatar on them via Zoom.
The robots had a tablet with the student's avatar on them via Zoom. (Business Breakthrough University)

The student's name would be called and the robot with their avatar would walk up to the stage to receive the degree. The graduation ceremony was not entirely virtual. There were four students who controlled the robots, and a few administrators as well. The university's president, Omae Kenichi was present there physically to award the degrees. He even gave an address at the ceremony.

The graduation ceremony of Business University was held at the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo, and it was made possible by Professor Shugo Yanaka who is the dean of Global Business Administration at the university. The virtual ceremony was also witnessed by management students all over Japan online.

Something similar happened in Japan where elementary students organised their own graduation ceremony in the video game, Minecraft. This even inspired students at the University of Pennsylvania who recreated their campus on Minecraft.

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