Undip uses robots for remote graduation ceremony


Those of us who have been working from home since the COVID-19 outbreak hit Indonesia most likely had to make a lot of changes to our working schedule – from making time to cook in between conference calls and deadlines to cleaning.

But workers aren’t the only ones whose day-to-day experiences have changed drastically. University students have also had to navigate e-learning and, for those who are graduating during the pandemic, e-ceremonies. 

Universitas Diponegoro – also known as Undip – which is located in Semarang, Central Java, is bidding farewell to its graduating students through screens attached on robots donning graduation regalia.


Robots stand in for grads at Undip’s high-tech ceremony


Undip robots - graduation ceremony
Image adapted from: Undip TV Official

Like a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie, Undip grads are receiving the degrees they worked hard for to get via robots that not only wear graduation gowns and caps, but also wigs and hijabs.

Undip robots - graduation ceremony 2
Image credit: @undip.official

The series of ceremonies, which began on 27th July 2020 and will go on until 30th July 2020, can be viewed on Undip’s YouTube channel. It might not be the emotional parting that students had in mind, but given the current circumstances, a remote graduation ceremony appears to be the best and safest solution. 


This isn’t Undip’s first feat with robots


Undip robots - medical robot
Undip’s robot that’s being tested to help in the care of COVID-19 patients
Image credit: Universitas Diponegoro

The graduation ceremony robots aren’t Undip’s first experience with technology in a pandemic. In June, the university announced that they were testing a robot that can assist healthcare workers in treating COVID-19 patients. It resembles a small, metal bookshelf, and is designed to carry medicine and food, do routine checks, and even facilitate video calls.

In addition to reducing the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to healthcare workers, the robot can also help Undip’s medical students by allowing them to keep an eye on and communicate with patients remotely.


The future of higher education


Undip’s use of robots for its remote graduation ceremony is just one of many new practices in higher education triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We can’t help but wonder what other major changes will have to be made as Indonesia and the rest of the world try to get through the pandemic. At the same time, we’re glad that these technologies are here now to help people communicate with each other safely when it would otherwise be challenging.

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Cover image adapted from: Undip TV Official