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Weird World: Robots replace students at graduation ceremony

Robots have replaced students in a virtual graduation ceremony in Japan.

The coronavirus outbreak has prevented Business Breakthrough students at the University of Tokyo from having a traditional graduation, so robots were used in their place.

The ‘Newme’ robots were dressed in a cap and gown fitted with tablets on their heads, with students showing their faces using Zoom.

The students remotely operated the robots in what has been deemed the “world’s first” online graduation ceremony.

When the moderator called the name of the student, a robot wearing the appropriate clothing appeared, alongside a tablet with the face of the graduate displayed, and the diploma was handed over.

Professor Shugo Yanaka, who planned the graduation ceremony, said: “While new corona measures are required, the introduction of avatars can realise a warm online graduation ceremony.

“We hope this initiative will be helpful to educational institutions who are having difficulty holding graduation and entrance ceremonies.”

In Kenya, education institutions were ordered to remain closed until the spread of the coronavirus is under control.

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