Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI) (TOKYO:4307) a leading provider of consulting services and system solutions, and parent company of ASG Group Limited, today announced that NRI has commenced a trial project to develop the robotics business in the field of distance education with Charters Towers School of Distance Education in Queensland, Australia.

The 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, the 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 the limited number of Japanese language teachers, school of distance education can also provide Japanese language classes for schools in such major towns as Brisbane). Further, they provide a service for home-based by choice learners and students in a range of alternative education centres.

In Australia, it is estimated that between twenty and twenty-five thousand students use distance education services, with Charters Towers School of Distance Education servicing two thousand 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 difficult for the students to talk and play with other students.

NRI will introduce a communication system with movable face-to-face communication robots which move and provide the teacher and students free angle views of one other. This means the robots are able to create a virtual classroom for geographically isolated and/or physically handicapped students, combining schools in remote areas and major towns.

The new system makes it easy to deliver group classes, enabling teachers to keep tabs on student’s concentration and level of understanding from their expressions and behaviours. This ultimately will improve the quality of education. Through this technology, students can participate in precious childhood experiences such as making friends, chatting about the latest fashion and trends in break time between classes.

NRI started the trial project in June 2018, with plans for completion in August 2018. The service will go live in early 2019, with future applications to be considered in healthcare and agriculture.

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