EngKey, a robot designed to gradually replace native English-speaking teachers, has been rolled out in 21 schools in South Korea so far this year.
EngKey robots were designed to help students with pronunciation of the English language while providing students with the “feeling” of a teacher present though telepresence technology.
The English Jockey aka EngKey in an interactive robot that enables english teachers to teach students from thousands of miles away. Teachers are able to see and hear the students by interacting with the children through a microphone and camera. Although the robot uses a human-like avatar on the screen, the teachers aren’t actually seen, it does however mimic the teacher’s facial expressions by the use of a camera.
South Korea is hoping this program will replace the need for native English-speaking teachers over the course of five years, a cost that the South Korean government says is too expensive and they additionally find challenges with placing teachers in rural areas. These teacher robots are currently being remotely operated by English-speaking teachers in the Philippines.
This year at CES, we got a look at another telepresence robot called AnyBots QB. It’s for video conferencing and sports two 5MP cameras which it uses as eyes to look around the room. It appears a bit like an Segway with a head.
While the geek side of me is wildly excited by the idea of telerobotics, on the other hand, I’m hoping this isn’t the start of a scary new trend in education. Uttering the words “robots replacing teachers” makes me cringe. Although, if you swapped out Engkey’s design with something more like the pic below, you might be able to groom the best behaved class ever.
Source ( TokyoTek)