Following a series of tests, South Korea has now decided to go ahead with introducing robotic teaching assistants nationwide.
Two series of videos (including the two below) shows how the robots developed by Korea's Institute of Science and Technology KIST interact with children. Most interaction is centered around conversational examples, including such themes as: at the convenience store; at the hospital/pharmacy; in the gymnasium; using public transportation; etc.
The robots ask questions and then use speech recognition software to provide feedback on children's pronounciation of pre-scripted answers. Other examples include the robot asking children to shop for specific items by passing them by the robot's onboard scanner or singing songs.
The new system dubbed "R-learning" will be introduced into 500 preschools in 2011 and rapidly expanded to cover 8000 early childhood education centers by 2013.
Korea sees multiple advantages in the technology, such as allowing for one-on-one lessons for children and has plans to export R-learning to international market beginning with developing nations.
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