Saya: First Robot Teacher

March 9, 2009

Name: Saya
Development Time: 15 years of research
Father: Professor Hiroshi Kobayashi (University of Tokyo)
Teaching Designation: Primary school in Tokyo
Abilities: Speak different languages, carry out roll calls, set tasks and make facial expressions – including anger – thanks to 18 motors hidden behind her latex face.
Reason for development: The humanoid was originally developed to replace a variety of workers, including secretaries, in a bid to allow firms to cut costs while still retaining some kind of human interaction.
Future: The Japanese government has said that by 2015 it wants a robot in every home and is pouring $35 million (£23 million) into robotic intelligence to make it happen.

Source: Telegraph via Japan Soc


  1. This is creepy on so many levels…they’re going to replace everyone with machines…

    Can anyone say “I, Robot”?

    • Well, I think some people are irreplaceable, but the negative possibilities are certainly there. However, this is just the very beginning – it will take some time before the robots will be widely implemented.

  2. Sure can be creepy (I’m already imagining an ARMY OF ROBOT SECRETARIES :O) but they do amazing research too, like the robots helping disabled people walk.
    And I’d like to know the answer to Philip K. Dick’s question : do androids dream of electric sheep ?
    Still, they’re a bit optimistic about 2015 in my opinion.

    • haha Army of robot secretaries!🙂

      Yes, the research may be very helpful, especially given Japan’s increasing aging population.

      Ah, dreams… I’ll post an article about that soon😛 I don’t think robots need to sleep though.

      Indeed, most such statements are for hype purposes.

  3. $35 Million seems quite low for such an ambitious goal…

    • That’s true, but I hope it will provide the basis for further development🙂

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