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Robot teaches children the art of calligraphy

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Mastering the ancient Japanese art of calligraphy generally takes years of training and patience. But thanks to a new robot assistant, Japanese children can learn the techniques of calligraphy masters in a much shorter time than previously possible. The robot, installed at Keio University in Yokohama, utilizes the same techniques as Juho Sado, a 90-year-old calligraphy master, in order to draw the intricate characters on paper with a brush. It uses a mechanical arm to properly hold the brush in perfect form and guide the students' hands through the strokes of painting a kanji, or Japanese character. The robot's various sensors were able to capture all of the nuances of Sado's gestures and movements as he drew characters, which it then can impart to the students. The university hopes that this robot will not only be used to teach children calligraphy, but can also to train surgeons or mechanics, other disciplines that require delicate hand motion. You can see the robot on which the training system was based in action in the video below.