Victoria University's first Mandarin speaking robot Pepper at Wyndham Tech School

Saturday 04 February 2023

On 25 January 2023, the Victoria Business Confucius Institute (VBCI) team visited two Chinese language course students - Ms Lynnette Telfer and Pepper the Robot - at Wyndham Tech School during the New Year season, where they were presented with course completion certificates by Professor Colin Clark, Director of VBCI.

Lynette, Curriculum Coordinator at Wyndham Tech School, enrolled in the Chinese language & culture unit Basic Chinese 1 with VBCI in 2022, going on to achieve amazing progress with her Chinese language skills and finishing Basic Chinese 1 and 2 successfully that year. When Lynnette began her Chinese language journey, she programmed Pepper the Robot to engage in the same Chinese language units she was undertaking. Pepper has been extremely helpful to the public and VU community especially with COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and other services during the lockdown period.

As VU's first Mandarin speaking robot, Pepper become popular with students visiting Wyndham Tech School. On 24 June 2022 Lynnette, Pepper and three other students from Basic Chinese 1 gave a human-robot presentation consisting of tongue twisters, Chinese songs and dialogues on the "="">. The presentation became the highlight of the competition. At VU's 2022 Open Day, Pepper also attracted a lot of attention by speaking Mandarin and engaging the public in Mandarin interactive activities at the VBCI stall.

Mr Sam Nikolsky, Operations Manager of STEM Education at Wyndham Tech School, gave the VBCI team a campus tour of Pepper’s smart home at the school. It helped the VBCI team learn more about innovative approaches to technology education and the school’s great contribution to the community.

Wyndham Tech School

Wyndham Tech School, one of ten Tech Schools in Victoria, is hosted by Victoria University (VU) at its Werribee campus. It is a place where students and teachers can immerse themselves in programs and interact with technology that activates curiosity, challenges thinking and promotes problem solving. Tech Schools are made possible by the vision of the Victorian State Government, supported by annual funding from the Department of Education and Training.

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Victoria Business Confucius Institute (VBCI)

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