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Technology helping students in Southwest Florida

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 15:34:29-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Babcock Neighborhood School

Mr. CJ McFarlane and his trusted sidekick roam the hallways at Babcock Neighborhood School in Babcock Ranch.

Temi (pronounced Timmy) is a personal robot making deliveries, telling jokes and keeping students entertained.

“The same technology you have running in a Tesla and other automatic vehicles is the same technology you have in Temi which is 'how do I see what’s around me and how do I navigate this world?', says McFarlane.

At the top of Temi’s list of duties: educating students.

“He opens up the conversation."

McFarlane says Temi's learned a lot since his first day in school, including new features like "auto-return". That's where he automatically returns to McFarlane's office if it remains idle for more than 10 minutes.

The school is a champion for STEM, with students winning awards from major competitions.

As students continue to explore robotics and programming, McFarlane says he wants them to code just what Temi will do next.

“My role is just to facilitate it and make sure they reach higher and higher. And if one day Temi has small arms and little robots that follow him everywhere cause that’s what they programmed him to do, I’m all for it,": he tells FOX 4.

Florida Gulf Coast University

At FGCU, solving a problem by using artificial intelligence helped one professor save time.

Dr. Xiaofei Zhang teaches chemistry at the university. With students actively using Scantron, Zhang looked for a way to further analyze his student's performance.

The current in-house machine scans for enough data to know the number of right and wrong answers.

That's why Zhang turned to artificial intelligence. He designed a cloud system that sorts and grades.

“With this, I don’t have to eyeball all the information myself. The computer does all the heavy lifting by using optical recognition," Zhang says.

“I will know how many students get it right and what’s the most popular answer for that question.”

He says it helps him help his students.

“That will provide some insight for me to improve my further teaching."