It looks like South Korea’s aspirations of having robots in classrooms, teaching their youth, which were aiming for 2012, may be seeing adoption at a quicker rate. But, that’s not stopping a school in Daegu, South Korea, from planting a few 3-foot tall robots, oddly shaped like huge eggs, right in front of students, and teaching them English. The students reportedly love the Engkey, though, and that’s kept the little bots around.
In total, the Engkey robots stand 3.3-feet tall, and feature a small display where a female woman’s face is displayed. The robots don’t control themselves, though. The English teachers are in another room, controlling Engkey in its content, as well as the reactions to the students. The image of the woman’s face will actually copy the reaction of the teacher’s, thanks to cameras watching his or her face.
Other than the fact that the students love the little ‘bots, the schools are adopting the robots at a faster rate due to the cheaper cost of hiring Filipino teachers. According to a school official, Kim Mi-Young, “The kids seemed to love it since the robots look, well, cute and interesting. But some adults also expressed interest, saying they may feel less nervous talking to robots than a real person.” She went on to add that having a robot in the classroom makes the students more active, and that their participation has climbed steadily since the robot’s introduction.