Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Johnny 5 is alive!

There's new hope for children's education! A replica of the "Number 5" robot from Short Circuit called AJ5 is now a teacher.

AJ5 works for the Apache Junction Arizona Police Department as a firearms safety instructor that is taken to schools to give lectures. It seems he will be teaching all four sections of a segmented gun safety program that follows the children frrom Kindergarten ("don't touch yet!") to high school ("You will probably like this one.") It seems that the program is very pro-gun and pro-gun ownership, while being careful to make sure the children learn safety as they go.

The idea of using a quirky, easily anthropomorphized robot to lecture on such a subject is perfect. The young kids respond with rapt attention and if the robot has enough detail and answers the older kids are less likely to see it as "just another boring authority figure".

The program looks like a pretty good one, the police officers in charge are even studying the options for bringing modified real guns into the classroom for the older kids so they can get a feel of how they work and what they do. Taking the mystery out of a tool is the first step to increasing a person's safety around it, so I'm very much in favour of that.

Folks can meet AJ5 robot []

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