British school starts with Pepper teachers – humanoid robot to help with technology lessons

London Design and Engineering UTC school is set to become the first in Britain to welcome a robot teacher when it opens in September.

The humanoid robot, known as Pepper, will be used in classrooms at the London Design and Engineering University Technical College, to help teach pupils about cutting-edge robotics. It will be the first instance of an educational robot being used in a UK classroom.

Pepper London school

Standing at just over a metre tall, this high-tech creation, equipped with microphones, HD cameras and 3D depth sensors, will interact with students in their lessons.

According to Japanese robotics company Softbank, who launched Pepper in 2014, this will ‘…help people grow, enhance their life, facilitate the relationship, he will have fun with them, give some services and connect them with the outside world.’ Softbank describe him as ‘kindly, endearing and surprising’.

They claim he is the first robot capable of perceiving human emotions, adapting his behaviour to match your mood, and intend him to be a ‘genuine day-to-day companion’. Pepper boasts a range of features to help pupils learn about innovative robotic engineering, including gyroscopes, touch sensors, sonars, lasers, bumper sensors, and language and voice gender recognition.

It has already been used in Shoshi High School in Japan to help students in language lessons. Pepper will be used to teach students about the technology of assisted living – helping vulnerable people around the house.

Pepper and Mr Fowler

Pepper robo-teacher with the school principal Mr. Fowler

There will also be a Pepper model at the school reception, welcoming guests. Principal Geoffrey Fowler is excited at the prospect of Pepper being incorporated to the brand new school for students from 14 to 19 years of age.