Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
A professor named Hiroshi Kobayashi at Tokyo’s Science University has developed Saya-San, a robot teacher. Saya-San currently can take attendance and hand out assignments. One of her most suprising abilities is enabled by 18 motors located under her eerily life-like latex face which allow her to make various expressions which are linked to descriptive words like sad, angry and happy.
Japan is funding research into robots like Saya-San as a possible solution for the problem of labor shortages due to an aging population. Inventor Kobayashi is careful to warn that Saya-San has no intelligence and still couldn’t begin to replace a human instructor.
An earlier version of this robot named Saya was put to work as a receptionist in 2004. See her being put through her paces in this Video: