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Robot English Teacher Makes Its Debut

Posted October. 03, 2005 03:15,   


A robot that can teach English to elementary schoolers, made its first appearance ever.

On October 2, the Ministry of Information and Communication reported that the Korea Advanced Intelligent Robot Association (KAIRA) recently began pilot projects featuring “tutor robots” in some apartment complexes in the Seoul Metropolitan area, including Seoul, Bucheon, Seongnam and Bundang.

The robots will provide education to elementary schoolers in those regions for three months until this December. Learning English with the robot, children will read English sentences after the robot and get their English pronunciation corrected.

Apart from providing the education service, the robot is equipped with other functions to provide various information such as weather information.

KAIRA will test the robot in various aspects during the pilot project running period. After working on problems found during this period, KAIRA plans to introduce “live-in-house tutor” robots sometime between October and December next year. Those robots will stay at home and teach children.

The price of a robot will be between 700,000 and 800,000 won. Affordable, according to KAIRA, which claims that future software developments will result in more sophisticated robots that will be able to teach adults.

The Ministry of Information and Communication invested more than three billion won into the research and development of the robot. Ten other private companies under KAIRA also participated in its development.

Sang-Hoon Kim sanhkim@donga.com