Japanese City Introduces Classroom Robots to Support Absent Children

TOKYO: A city in Japan is pioneering the use of representative robots within classroom to bridge the gap for students who are unable to attend school. These innovative robots will serve as a bridge, connecting absent students at home to their physical classrooms through the use of built-in cameras.

The city of Kyoyamoto, located in southwestern Japan, has taken this initiative to address the issue of absenteeism due to various reasons such as behavioral problems, illness, or other circumstances. The primary goal is to keep these students engaged with their educational environment and ultimately facilitate their return to regular attendance.

The robot is equipped with a range of features, including a microphone, camera, speaker, and a comprehensive two-way communication system. With this technology, students who are absent can not only see their classroom but also interact with their teachers and peers in real time. This virtual presence allows them to actively participate in lessons while remotely controlling the robot. Furthermore, they can engage in conversations with their classmates, fostering a sense of connection.

The robot stands at a height of up to three feet (approximately one meter) and moves on wheels. It can be guided to different areas within the classroom, enabling it to participate in various activities. Allowing the child to physically engage with their environment aims to recreate the real school experience and diminish feelings of isolation and apprehension toward school. This psychological approach seeks to alleviate fears among these students.

It’s important to note that Japan is also exploring educational opportunities within the metaverse environment. The city administration believes that this innovative robot project will eventually encourage students to return to regular school attendance. The official launch of the project is scheduled for November, with high hopes for its positive impact on the educational landscape.

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