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Japanese Robots to Aid English Classes in Vietnam

These are exciting times for English-language learners in Vietnam, as a Japanese robotics company just signed a deal to provide the country with English-teaching robots.

The agreement involves Japan-based Softbank, FPT Software and the Institute of American Education (IAE), reports Tuoi Tre. Under the contract, Softbank will supply educational service provider EQuest Academy and the Vietnamese American Training Center, both under IAE, with NAO robots to aid teachers in their language courses.

NAOs will be integrated into lessons through various class activities such as listening and speaking tasks. The robots, which are programmed to talk like native speakers, will be a crucial addition to the classes, helping young children hone their pronunciation.

A representative from Softbank told Tuoi Tre that humanoid robots are no strangers to Vietnam, as they have been available in the country since 2004. However, thus far they have been reserved for training and research, not commercial purposes.

Through this deal, the Japanese company hopes to introduce their products to a wider audience in fields such as education, customer service and entertainment.

NAO is Softbank’s first humanoid robot and was revealed in 2006. Since then, the robot model has evolved drastically. The current version of NAO can communicate in some 20 languages and is outfitted with two cameras and WiFi receptors.

[Photo via IB Times]

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