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Robot attends school in Kazakhstan

18 september 2015, 19:24
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A screenshot a courtesy of Kazakh TV
A screenshot a courtesy of Kazakh TV

A robot nicknamed Avatar was introduced in the regional boarding school of Karaganda for children with of motor skills disorders. The robot helps a boy with ICP attend classes virtually and even communicate with teachers and classmates, Tengrinews reports citing NV.kz.

Ruslan Jalaev has been homeschooled for seven years before trying out this invention. According to Ruslan, Avatar is easy to use and can be controlled with a pair of keys on his keyboard. The robot is equipped with a microphone and camera that emable Rulstan to see and hear what happens in the classroom on his computer. With the help of a small screen built into the body of the robot, teachers and fellow students can also see and hear Ruslan in real time.

"I like getting new assignments. And now it has become even easier. I can socialize with my classmates and even walk around. I can see everything on my screen and everyone can hear me," Ruslan said. 

The robot moves on wheels and can even nigotiates small doorsteps. All the student needs to control his robot is wireless Internet connection in the room where Avatar is. Thanks to the robot Ruslan can also "attend" different school events.

"I really like to study. And I like computer sciece," Rusian said in an interview to Kazakh TV.  

The cost of this robot is more than 2 million tenge ($7400 at 1 USD = 270 KZT). If this experiment is successful more Kazakhstani children with motor disorders may get a chance to "come" to school and see their classmates.

"We are testing the robot in our boarding school now. And if it proves a success and produces good results, the education department plans to purchase one more robot," Lyudmila Gavrilenko, Chief Specialist at the Karaganda Oblast Education Department, told Kazakh TV.

In 2014 a robot substituted an American student, who was too sick to come to school, ABC News reported. According to Russian TV Channel 1 a robot, similar to Avatar, started attending one of the Moscow schools in 2011. One of the big advantages of the invention is that it can broadcast lessons to any number of students.

Recently a team of Australian researchers and robot technicians from Swinburne University of Technology launched a new three-year project, in which robots are to become an integral part of the learning process in primary and secondary schools. Humanoid robots will attend classes of of South Australian schools, as reported by Vesti.ru.

The purpose of the initiative is to figure out how robots can prove to be helpful to teachers and students. According to the leaders of this project, working with humanlike machines should contribute to students learning of the basics of computer science, coding, and programming. One of the key features of these robots is that with the help of a computer software they can be programmed to speak, dance, and make different moves. Therefore, in order for children to be able to play with a robot and make it perform the desired actions, they have to learn the basics of computer science and programming. It is believed that through game and play children can obtain the necessary skills fast. It is important to note that according to industry experts, such skills will be in high demand in just a few years.

By Aidana Ramazanova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina  


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