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September 13, 2002

Danger, English Teacher! Danger!

A group has been formed by Ritsumeikan University and several other educational institutions and private companies to build a robot that can teach English to children. One of the companies, Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) of Kyoto, has developed a pet-like robot known as Muu (it looks something like Mike, the green, one-eyed character in the movie Monster's Inc). The group, which also includes IBM Japan, will expand the robot's memory and ability to hold a conversation. Tests with young children will begin this month and the group plans to give the robot teacher its debut next year at an edutainment forum.

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