Science

Robots enter schools in South Korea

She is only 9 inches tall and runs a whole kindergarten class. The Alpha Mini robot is a new ally for school teachers in South Korea.

Sponsored by the city of Seoul, this technology is presented here as an educational tool that should allow children to become familiar with new technologies, such as computer lessons.

The little Alpha Mini is thus capable of counting nursery rhymes, singing melodies, doing push-ups, teaching some martial arts gestures and even “farting” to amuse the little ones.

Designed like an android, this biped mainly emphasizes a plump face and funny expressions, two small screens animating its eyes. The robot also has a camera placed on its forehead to take photos that it shares directly on a tablet accessible to children. More than 300 kindergartens in this city, which house about 10 million inhabitants, have recently welcomed this new tenant.

Stimulate children’s creativity.

“Robots stimulate children’s creativity,” says teacher Byun Seo-yeon. “In the future, it will be very important to know how to handle artificial intelligence and its related tools,” adds Han Dong-seong of the Seoul government’s child care division. According to him, this “experience will have a lasting effect throughout the children’s lives.”

However, if South Korea intends to popularize this little robot, this is not the first experience of its kind. In 2019, Softbanks Robotics was already experimenting with a future where teachers could be supported by robots in the classroom. The robot could be responsible for teaching generalities, while the teacher could pay more attention to students in difficulty, for example.

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