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As part of South Korea’s ongoing plans for ubiquitous robot technology, KIST (Korean Institute of Science and Technology) has developed a telepresence English teaching aid robot called ROTI. Already two of the bots have been deployed to elementary schools as part of a 2 month pilot program in Masan, South Korea. English teachers control ROTI remotely, and give lessons in real-time through a webcam, though the robot is equipped with sensors which probably over ride the controls if obstacles are detected.

The Korean Ministry of Economy has already invested some 400,000,000 KRW ($339,200 USD) in its development, with plans to roll out more once its validity has been verified. KIST developed a telepresence teaching robot with the same goal called VANI last year, so I’m somewhat baffled that they were given additional funding for a new robot (though they may be part of the same initiative). South Korea has tightened its regulations concerning foreign teachers after it had to deport dozens of unqualified English teachers in previous years. As such, ROTI may help more students get their English lessons, but I can’t help but think that Anybots’ telepresence robots would be cheaper. Video after the break.

[source: Naver (KR)]


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