TOKYO - June 1, 2018 - Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI) (TOKYO:4307) a leading provider of consulting services and system solutions, and a parent company of ASG Group Limited (Perth, Australia), today announced that NRI started to implement a trial project for developing robotics business in the field of distance education with Charters Towers School of Distance Education in Queensland, Australia.
Queensland government delivers distance education services through seven state schools of distance education which were established to provide a schooling service for geographically isolated and other home based students with limited educational choices.
Additionally, schools of distance education provide services to enhance learning opportunities by offering a wider range of subject choices for mainstream school students (for example, due to limited number of Japanese language teachers, schools of distance education can also provide Japanese language classes for schools in such major towns as Brisbane) and providing a service for by choice home based learners and students in a range of alternative education centres.
In Australia, it is estimated that about from twenty thousand to twenty five thousand students use distance education services, and Charters Towers School of Distance Education is providing services for two thousand and two hundred students.
At present, distance education services provide PCs and tablets displaying texts, pictures and generating voice with headsets. It is hard for teachers to see students' conditions, level of understanding and environment for study, and it is too hard for the students to talk and play with other students.
Robot utilised for distance education
NRI will introduce a communication system with movable face-to-face communication robots (Figure 1) which provide the teacher and the student with free angle views of the other and move. In other words, the robots are able to create a virtual classroom combining schools in remote areas and major towns, and also provide opportunities to go to their classrooms virtually for geographically isolated and/or physically handicapped students.
The new system makes it easy to provide classes for group, enabling teachers to keep tabs on student's concentration and level of understanding from their expressions and behaviors, eventually improves the quality of education.
Students can naturally have irreplaceable and precious experiences in their childhood like making friends, chitchatting on the latest fashion and so forth in break time between classes.
To sum up, our system will bring various communication opportunities in group life.
NRI started the trial project in June, 2018, and plans to complete it in August, 2018, aiming to go live with the service in early 2019, as well as to take the future possibility of application to the field of healthcare and agriculture into consideration.
Photo : (From left)Mr. Takuhito Sakata, Senior Corporate Managing Director of NRI and Mr. John Clark, Principal of Charters Towers School of Distance Education, shaking hands at the ceremony