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Engkey, the English Teacherbot in Korea

Imagine the classroom of the future, where students greet their teacherbot every morning? Well, that may come sooner than we'd like to think: the Korea Institute of Science and Technology has developed Engkey, a robot to teach English to youngsters.

The 29 robots, about 1m-high with a TV display panel for a face, wheeled around the classroom while speaking to the students, reading books to them and dancing to music by moving their head and arms.

The robots, which display an avatar face of a Caucasian woman, are controlled remotely by teachers of English in the Philippines - who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.

Cameras detect the Filipino teachers' facial expressions and instantly reflect them on the avatar's face, said Sagong Seong-Dae, a senior scientist at KIST.

"Well-educated, experienced Filipino teachers are far cheaper than their counterparts elsewhere, including South Korea," he said.

Link (Photo: AFP)


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