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Japan’s SoftBank to bring robots to Vietnam to aid English teaching

Thursday, September 15, 2016, 20:02 GMT+7

Japan’s robot producer SoftBank Robotics has inked a deal with a local IT company and an education firm to bring humanoid robots to Vietnam for English teaching.

The deal was signed between Softbank, FPT Software and the Institute of American Education (IAE).

The robots, named NAO, will aid teachers working for the educational service provider EQuest Academy and the language education and training institution Vietnamese American Training Center, both of which are run by the IAE.

FPT will be in charge of researching and building application programming interfaces (API) for the robots.

The robots will provide pedagogical assistance in class activities, including interaction with learners in conversational patterns, testing listening and speaking skills, and helping young students learn English and pronounce like native speakers.

A SoftBank spokesperson said that humanoid robots have been introduced to Vietnam since 2004, but they are only used in training and research.

Thus, the Japanese robot developer wants to utilize their products in daily activities in Vietnam, including education, customer service, and entertainment.

According to SofBank Robotics, NAO can understand and communicate in as many as 20 languages. He can also access the Internet through Wi-Fi and Ethernet.   

Currently in the 5th version, about 9,000 NAOs have already been sold throughout the world, the Japanese producer said on its website.

Seven NAOs joined the show called "Robot" created by the renowned Spanish choreographer Blanca Li in 2013.

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