Malaysia university proposes robots for graduation ceremonies

Robot graduates receiving their academic documents. Photo: Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin / Facebook
Robot graduates receiving their academic documents. Photo: Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin / Facebook

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, or UniSZA, has proposed an innovative and futuristic solution to the absence of graduation ceremonies in Malaysia — robots.

The Terengganu public university had shared online a video illustrating this idea, saying that it would opt for the use of robots in the future if convocations continue to be disallowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Malaysian public universities have been advised to postpone graduation ceremonies until next year because of the ongoing outbreak. 

Malaysia has reported 7,857 coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in the country. The death toll stands at 115. 

Ianya bukanlah lagi fantasi, tapi boleh dijadikan realiti (It is not merely a fantasy. This can become a reality for many),” the university’s online post read. 

The simulation robots strike a pose they receive their scrolls. Photo: Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin / Facebook
The simulation robots strike a pose they receive their scrolls. Photo: Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin / Facebook

Namun setakat ini, belum ada apa-apa rancangan/keputusan untuk UniSZA melaksanakan majlis konvokesyen 100% secara maya (However, we haven’t made any plans for UniSZA to organize a fully-virtual graduation ceremony),” it added. The university also suggested using the robots to represent students residing overseas and could not attend convocations. 

UniSZA had two days ago uploaded a YouTube video demonstrating how the robots work.

The robots, which were named “Naseem” dan “Seeba,” were seen in the video receiving academic scrolls on behalf of graduates. The graduates, whose faces were live-streamed on the screens of the robots’ “faces,” were able to interact with those presenting them with the scrolls.

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