Robotics has largely developed lately and is currently being used for various types of industries, e.g., manufacturing, military, medicine, education. The purpose of this study is to explore the general perception of robotics, with a focus on its application in higher education in the Industry 4.0 era. Using simple convenience sampling, a number of 365 valid responses were collected from the students enrolled in a South Korean university and exploratory factor analysis was employed. Out of an initial number of 56 items, 33 were retained using the principal component analysis, and six factors were revealed: emotional robots, instructional support robots, instructional subordinate robots, labor force robots, progressive robots and scary robots. Perceptions of male students differ significantly from those of females in some respects – the former believe more that human labor will be replaced by machine labor, that robotics could be helpful in higher education, and that the development of robotics should be promoted by countries. South Korean students, unlike non-South Korean ones, consider to a larger extent that robots can have emotional functions, that they might take the place of human labor and could reduce the job opportunities, while admitting robots’ capacity of making life easier and of creating mutual human-robot learning opportunities. The discussions and implications provided will be useful to managers and policy makers, particularly in education.
robotics, robot, education, Industry 4.0, South Korea, instructional support robots
I23, O14