Robots Are Among Us 2: The Classroom
On an earlier blog post, I reported that Google had robotic cars on the road already. Well, the road isn’t the only place robots are starting to take over.
Robots now build cars, defuse bombs, and explore distant planets, but can they teach?
Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology think so and are building an army of robots to deliver English instruction to schoolchildren. It might be the most elaborate online-learning effort yet.
Mr. Kim and his team are designing the robots from the ground up—attempting to give them realistic facial features, arms that let them gesture, and sensors so they can keep their distance from students.
These robotic teachers are called “Engkey” - a portmanteau of “English” and “Jockey” (i.e. disc jockey). The kids seem to react to them quite well. Of course, the young have always understood and accepted technology more than the old :).
More on the “growing trend” of robots in classrooms: http://blog.oup.com/2010/07/robot-teachers/
Until next time