The Japanese seem to have a robot for everything. Need a supermodel robot? Yep, got one of them. Looking for a giant baby robot that spits fire? No problem. How about a substitute teacher? Well, now Japan has one of those too.
Recently, students at a Tokyo elementary school returned from holidays to find their teacher had been replaced by “Saya” a talking human-like robot. Saya was first developed to be a receptionist robot (yeah, they have those too) by Hiroshi Kobayashi of the Tokyo University of Science. Recently, however, the robot has been taking on work as a substitute teacher. I guess the recession is tough on robots too.
Saya can speak multiple languages, uses facial expressions to communicate emotions ranging from surprise and happiness to sadness and anger to just downright creepy. The robot, however, reportedly needs to improve her classroom management technique. Right now, Saya is only able to call out names and shout “Be quiet.” I’m not sure what the problem is there – sounds like every substitute teacher I ever had.
photo credits: Pink Tentacle