Engkey The Robot English Teacher Started Teaching In 21 Elementary Schools In Daegu, Seoul South Korea

By on Dec 29, 2010 in Education, Science, Technology Comments

An egg-shaped robot named Engkey who can hold scripted conversations with students has been reported taking classes on Monday at 21 elementary schools in the Southeastern city of Daegu in South Korea.

Robot English Teacher
EngKey the robot English teacher
Image Credit: AFP/Ho/Daegu Metropolitan Office

According to reports, 29 robots have started teaching English to youngsters in a South Korean city in a pilot project designed to nurture the nascent robot industry.

This version of robots named EngKey are about 3.3 feet (1m) tall with a TV screen panel to show a human instructor’s face, wheeled around the classrooms while speaking to students, reading books to them and dancing to music by moving their head and arms.

According to Kim Mi-Young, an official at Daegu City Education Office, the robots were still being tested and officials might consider hiring them full-time if scientists upgrade them and make them easier to handle and more affordable.

“Having robots in the classroom makes the students more active in participating, especially shy ones afraid of speaking out to human teachers,” Kim was quoted saying.

Reports said that the robots are being controlled remotely by English teachers in the Philippines. The teachers can see and hear the students via a remote control system. The robots were developed by the Korea Institute of Science of Technology (KIST) and currently cost 10 million won each.

The video below shows a robot that teaches English in Korea Masan Happo Elementary School students, according to a YouTube user Lashovideo who uploaded the video.

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