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Seoul trials pint-sized robots in nursery schools

Seoul has started trialling pint-sized robots as teaching aids in kindergartens — a pilot project the city government said would help prepare the next generation for a hi-tech future.

AFP

November 25, 2021 / 02:04 PM IST

Seoul has started trialling pint-sized robots as teaching aids in kindergartens -- a pilot project the city government said would help prepare the next generation for a hi-tech future. (Image: AFP)

Seoul has started trialling pint-sized robots as teaching aids in kindergartens — a pilot project the city government said would help prepare the next generation for a hi-tech future. (Image: AFP)

The "Alpha Mini" is just 24.5 centimetres tall and can dance, lead sing-a-longs, recite stories and even teach kung-fu moves as children mimic its push-ups and one-legged balances. (Image: AFP)

The “Alpha Mini” is just 24.5 centimetres tall and can dance, lead sing-a-longs, recite stories and even teach kung-fu moves as children mimic its push-ups and one-legged balances. (Image: AFP)

"The robots help with the kids' creativity," teacher Byun Seo-yeon told AFP during a visit to the bright and busy Maru nursery in Seoul. (Image: AFP)

“The robots help with the kids’ creativity,” teacher Byun Seo-yeon told AFP during a visit to the bright and busy Maru nursery in Seoul. (Image: AFP)

The robot's eyes wink and blink -- and its pupils become heart-shaped during conversation. (Image: AFP)

The robot’s eyes wink and blink — and its pupils become heart-shaped during conversation. (Image: AFP)

With a camera on its helmet, it takes photos that are instantly sent to a tablet for viewing. (Image: AFP)

With a camera on its helmet, it takes photos that are instantly sent to a tablet for viewing. (Image: AFP)

"In the future, knowing how to manage AI and related tools will be very important," Han Dong-seog, from the Seoul government's childcare division, told AFP. (Image: AFP)

“In the future, knowing how to manage AI and related tools will be very important,” Han Dong-seog, from the Seoul government’s childcare division, told AFP. (Image: AFP)

The robots are being trialled in 300 Seoul nurseries and childcare centres, with the government recommending the programme for children aged three to five. (Image: AFP)

The robots are being trialled in 300 Seoul nurseries and childcare centres, with the government recommending the programme for children aged three to five. (Image: AFP)

"We believe having this experience in nursery schools will have a lasting effect throughout their youth and as adults," Han said. (Image: AFP)

“We believe having this experience in nursery schools will have a lasting effect throughout their youth and as adults,” Han said. (Image: AFP)

The Alpha Mini has been adopted as part of a daily schedule for the class of four- to five-year-old students at Maru, with its ability to "fart" on command being a highlight during playtime. (Image: AFP)

The Alpha Mini has been adopted as part of a daily schedule for the class of four- to five-year-old students at Maru, with its ability to “fart” on command being a highlight during playtime. (Image: AFP)

"When I tell it to sing, it sings well. I tell it to dance and we dance together," said five-year-old Lee Ga-yoon. (Image: AFP)

“When I tell it to sing, it sings well. I tell it to dance and we dance together,” said five-year-old Lee Ga-yoon. (Image: AFP)

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