March 8 is the International Women’s Day which also celebrates women’s achievements in political, economic and social spheres; it celebrates the past, present and the future of women from around the planet. On the occasion of the holiday, the SUSU group in VKontakte organizes a contest, the first participant in which was Vanya the Robot who congratulated all women.
The main goal of the Robot is to help international students to master Russian language and eliminate defects in pronunciation. He listens to a student, the program indentifies causes of defects and displays an animated picture of these causes and the actions that the student should undertake in order to eliminate them. Moreover, Vanya the Robot can not only teach Russian language to international students; he can also be useful in many other spheres.
“Today, Vanya is a robotized dialogue system for learning Russian as a foreign language. Nowadays I involved a master’s degree student to work in order to expand the number of the robot’s functions. He can be used as a movable surveillance camera; he can recognize faces and determine the direction of a sound. We are planning on using him for attracting university applicants to SUSU. People always like him, and I hope that all ladies of the university will like his greetings,” said Associate Professor of the Department of Information-measuring Equipment from SUSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Dmitry Katsai.
In the process of his operation, Vanya the Robot can actively interact with students and illustrate his speech using the monitor. Nowadays the work is being done for providing him with even more intelligent properties as an interlocutor. Within the Language lab, he must assist not only teachers but also students. Among such students at the present time are mainly students from China and Arab countries. Students are very excited of having such a “teacher”. Vanya helps eliminating psychological barrier and excites sincere interest and curiosity.