Say hello to EMYS: the lovable social robot who offers a totally new, highly effective way to introduce your little one to a second language in a way that feels just like hanging out with a new best friend!
The Smart Tags, as shown spread out on the table in the photo above, feature images that each represent a certain word. EMYS asks kids to show him a specific Smart Tag by identifying a word or concept that they already understand in their mother tongue, and then teaches them the corresponding word in the secondary language, asking them to repeat the word aloud.
This teaching method provides hours of learning and laughter for kids through playfully interacting with EMYS, as you’ll see in the following video:
EMYS has many more features and capabilities that we are currently working towards completing as we speak. One of these is the ability to turn virtually anything into a Smart Tag, by placing one of our special computer chip-embedded stickers onto it, as seen here:
EMYS is specifically designed to address the unique learning preferences of kids aged 3 to 7, which is the optimal time to learn a second language. During this phase of life, children’s brains are primed to begin assimilating the meanings of words. But while kids are “sponges” at this age, they need to be taught in a very particular way, leveraging:
We achieved all this with EMYS by equipping him with amazing visual perception and unprecedented interaction ability. He can detect when someone is in front of him, recognize who it is, track your child’s movements, and respond to his or her touch.
Leveraging these capabilities (the first of their kind in a language-teaching robot for kids), EMYS will teach your child on average one new word per day, for a total of 7 new foreign words per week. He does this using his incredibly intelligent artificial intelligence algorithm, drawing on words your kids already know in their mother tongue. By basing his teaching around concepts that kids already understand in their first language, EMYS allows them to create lasting neural links that ensure the words they use in the new language become a permanent part of of their “mind map” of the world.
EMYS also comes with a set of Smart Tags that kids can pick up and touch to the display screen located in EMYS’ base. Your child will be able to select a Smart Tag according to the picture on it, inviting EMYS to “read” the identity of the tag (thanks to the RFID technology embedded inside it). EMYS will then acknowledge the correct identity of the Smart Tag, rewarding your child with a happy reaction.
Each Smart Tag represents a different concept or combination of concepts, giving kids the chance to locate and present the appropriate Smart Tag to EMYS when asked to do so. This kind of interaction becomes an endlessly entertaining game that keeps kids coming back for more tutoring, day after day.
EMYS’s teaching methods are based on repetition, which is the most effective way to teach a new language to kids who are in the ideal language learning age bracket, but the magic of EMYS goes far beyond your child simply listening to a word being said repeatedly, or being asked to say a word again and again, which quickly gets tiresome. Instead, in order to teach new words to your child in a secondary language, EMYS will ask him or her to take certain actions to demonstrate their comprehension. EMYS’ effectiveness is therefore based on your child retrieving specific Smart Tags and pressing them against the display screen in his base, or touching EMYS on the top of his head to give one answer, vs. on his side to give another answer.
EMYS plays with your kids every day using the same style of interaction that you know and love from popular classic games, such as Guess Who or Simon Says. He encourages kids to play with him by asking questions about various objects. For example, if EMYS wants to teach your child the Spanish word for “yellow” (which is amarillo), he might say, “I like fruits that are amarillo! Show me a fruit with this color. I like all of them! Yum, yum, yum!”. Your child would then look for the Smart Tag with a picture of a yellow fruit on it, such as a banana.
Another way that EMYS provides new vocabulary to your child every day is through a learning modality known as Total Physical Response. TPR helps kids to learn by using whole-body movements. It’s a proven and effective method that enriches simple storytelling and “repeat after me” games by adding in a physical component that kids are asked to execute. For example, EMYS might ask your child to pretend to drive a car, point at something, or “clap your hands or jump when you hear the word “sun”. In this way, TPR greatly enhances the learning process by integrating what’s known as “muscle memory”.
Something else that sets EMYS apart is his ability to express emotion. Featuring 4 different touch sensing points on his head and body, he is an upbeat companion with whom kids can interact in a completely natural way. He talks, dances, reacts to your child patting or tickling him, and encourages him or her to get up and get moving as he helps little ones to deeply grasp the meaning of new words. His friendly face creates a real connection that helps your child develop empathy, too.
And let’s not forget the positive reinforcement that EMYS provides on your child’s learning journey! With each language-learning success, kids unlock new aspects of EMYS’ personality, including dance moves, amusing personas (he can behave like a pirate!), and confirmation of success on his display screen.
You can even dress EMYS up with the modeling clay that comes with each robot (giving him cat ears, or a tail), to add to the fun. This special clay dries after being left out for 24 hours, forming a robust shell that kids can draw, write, or paint on.