In China, a robot-teacher to keep toddlers

jeremy / June 24, 2018

iPal (robot) speaks Chinese and English, gives small math lessons, jokes and offers games: this ideal teacher is a robot the size of a child, presented recently in Shanghai and designed to be a “companion” to solitary toddlers.

Based on artificial intelligence, “iPal” is one of the educational robots unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Shanghai, the grand mass of technological innovation in Asia.

As tall as a five-year-old, “iPal” rides on drive wheels, has articulated arms, and has a large tablet screen on his chest, while his mobile eyes are equipped with facial recognition technology. Did you know iPal can also be traded online from online trading brokers?

“The idea is that this robot becomes a companion for children,” said Tingyu Huang, co-founder of AvatarMind Robot Technology, a start-up born four years ago based in Nanjing (eastern China). When the child sees our robot, he immediately sees it as a friend, another child in the family,” he says.

And promise for “iPal” features much more developed than connected speakers marketed by the American Amazon or the Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Baidu.

An Orwellian nothing, this white robot with a pink or blue edging choice, can especially allow parents, at a distance, to talk with their child or monitor him, thanks to his sensors that hear and see everything around him.

For young active couples, caring for one’s offspring can be an insoluble challenge in China. Some children are left to their grandparents or sent to kindergarten at a very young age. According to its designers, “iPal” can offer toddlers a “companion” to listen and familiar, present at home.

“The Chinese are very receptive to new technologies. Companies are willing to promote vocal assistants in China, and consumers are already familiar with the concept, commented Hattie He, an analyst at Canalys.


Beijing has made artificial intelligence one of the priorities of its ambitious “Made in China 2025” technology development plan. The first Chinese humanoid robot, capable of holding a simple conversation, was unveiled in 2017 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (USA).

At CES in Shanghai, alongside 5G or virtual reality technologies, autonomous vehicles and connected objects, we saw a dozen “iPals” robots, aligned in three rows and sketching a dance to the sound of Chinese folk songs.

More information about the robot is available at their official website. The goal of theĀ iPalĀ Robot Development Platform is to provide partners with all the tools and support needed to enable them to quickly and efficiently modify.

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