OMG - The New Kid In Class Is A . . . Robot!

By Meera Dolasia on February 13, 2013

CCSS NAS-6 NCSS-7 Word Search

On February 5th, 2013, the fifth grade students at Japan's Higashihikari Elementary School welcomed a new student. However, unlike other newcomers, he was not shy and seemed to instantly recognize all 119 kids by their names. Impressed? You will be even more so, when you find out that Robovie is not human but a robot, masquerading as a fifth-grade student!

Developed by Japan's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, the 1.2 meter (3.9 feet) tall student is part of a 14-month experiment to test if robots can gradually learn to interact naturally and assimilate with a group of people.

While the company has previously conducted several experiments in various settings, this is the longest duration by far, and is all part of their bigger vision of making robots household fixtures, previous attempts at which, have been quite unsuccessful. This time around they decided to pick a school because it allows the bot to gather and hopefully incorporate copious amounts of data from the active and curious kids around him.

And though Robovie's amazing memory may have impressed you, he does have an unfair advantage - Though his daily conversation level has been restricted to that of a five-year old in the hope that he will develop his vocabulary by interacting with the fifth graders, he was preprogrammed with the facial photos and voiceprints of all 119 fifth graders and teachers, as well as, the contents of the entire fifth grade science text book. Nonetheless, he impressed the class by answering correctly that a wound up copper wire could also be called a copper coil, prompting a fellow student to quip 'It's smarter than me'!

While still early, Robovie is doing quite well on the social front too - Not only did he acknowledge all the students in his grade but after class, also shook hands with the sixth graders and was even polite enough to answer all their questions, just like any other new student would do. But then, this is not the first time Robovie (or another version of him) has been around humans. In the past he has been assigned to many tasks including helping the elderly shop for groceries.

Resources: gizmag.com,mainichi.Jp

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assignedassimilatecopiousdurationfixturesmasqueradingnonethelesspreprogrammedrestrictedvoiceprints
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832 Comments
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  • ra72003
    ra72003Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm
    I hope it can do ur chores and homework /-_-/
    • kimberly56
      kimberly56Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm
      SO COOL LOL :)
      • brenda6
        brenda6Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 6:51 am
        I wish that happen to my class😪
        • nerd_girl
          nerd_girlThursday, April 30, 2015 at 4:05 pm
          OMG me too. Sadly, I LIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD!!!!
          • emilysmile
            emilysmileTuesday, May 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm
            me too
            • emilysmile
              emilysmileTuesday, May 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm
              lol
              • emilysmile
                emilysmileTuesday, May 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm
                gets smaller every time
        • Rice CrispyTuesday, April 28, 2015 at 6:36 pm
          These need to be put into walmart stores asap i need one to do stuff for me (what I'm doing right now)
          • karate6789
            karate6789Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 6:26 am
            cool I thought robots could take and kill everyone
            • dmonster
              dmonsterTuesday, April 28, 2015 at 9:40 am
              That's terminator Bro
            • senpaikohai
              senpaikohaiMonday, April 27, 2015 at 7:57 am
              nice ;D
              • 1679289721
                1679289721Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 11:01 am
                like a kid would actually go buy groceries LOL ... i know i wouldn't have that robot do my chores
                • 1468216
                  1468216Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 10:56 am
                  This is sick!!!! i want one to do my chores plz!!!!!!!!!!
                  • iLikePearsTuesday, April 21, 2015 at 11:27 am
                    OMG THAT IS COOL
                    • 1845425
                      1845425Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 11:18 am
                      AWESOME!!!!! Where can you get one?????

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