Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Worldstart Computer Tips

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This week in the News...

December 29, 2010.

3-feet high eggs could be South Korea's wave of the future.

Well, not eggs, exactly. Twenty-nine egg-shaped bots (named Engkey) have started teaching English to South Korean children as part of a pilot program aimed at supporting the blossoming robot industry.

The 3.3ft high bots have a TV panel (which shows a female Caucasian face) that that can speak to the students while wheeling around the classroom. They are able to read books and dance by moving their arms and heads. The kids love the robots, especially the shy kids, who feel more comfortable talking to a robot than a real person.

However, the robots are not as they appear. In actuality, the robots are run by well-educated teachers in the Philippines, who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.

As one South Korean administrator put it: "They won't complain about health insurance, sick leave and severance package, or leave in three months for a better-paying job in Japan... all you need is a repair and upgrade every once in a while.' The South Korean Government shelled out 1.37 million dollars for the pilot program.

Repair, upgrades and no health insurance, indeed.

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