Almost 30 robots have started teaching English to youngsters in a South Korean city, education officials said Tuesday, in a pilot project designed to nurture the nascent robot industry.
Engkey, a white, egg-shaped robot developed by the Korea Institute of Science of Technology (KIST), began taking classes Monday at 21 elementary schools in the southeastern city of Daegu.
The 29 robots, about 3.3 feet (1m) tall with a TV display panel for a face, wheeled around the classrooms while speaking to 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 English teachers 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.
Sounds like a solution and they are not in the union!