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Robot teacher

Robot teacherPrimary school students in Japan have had their first successful lesson with a robot teacher.

According to her students, she is both “pretty” and “a bit scary”, but Saya-Sensei is taking it all in her stride. “Saya” is a robotic teacher, with realistic facial expressions and a vocabulary of around 700 words.

She might not have eyes in the back of her head, but she is capable of leading a class, calling the register and assigning tasks to groups of students. Saya began the lesson by calling the names of the students. She can also recognise commands and answer a limited number of questions.

Saya is the product of 15 years of research at Tokyo’s University of Science. Professor Hiroshi Kobayashi said his aims were to “develop something that is useful to society and humans in daily life.” He is pleased with the students reaction to Saya-Sensei, claiming that the students treated her “like a real teacher.”

Kobayashi hopes that in the future many robotic teachers can be operated remotely by a teacher in a centralised control room.

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