The New Killbot

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Warning: Tasteless humor ahead.

Recently at the All-Things-Digital Asia conference, Korea Telecom unveiled the new children’s Kibot. But every time I see the name, I think Killbot. I’ve revised the original article to reflect how it might be different for a Killbot (note very minor revisions necessary, hmmmm).

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Meet Killbot, the brand new “kid’s robot,” from Korea Telecom. Though mixing games, murder, and education is nothing new, the company hopes that this killer plastic monkey will push the boundaries of learning weaponary.

Korea Telecom demoed the Killbot at AsiaD, showing how the monkey can read books and sing nursery songs (in Korean) to your unsuspecting kid.

Killbot plays language learning games on its touchscreen belly, and if your children don’t interact with it for a few minutes, it will kill its playmate. get bored and roam the house looking for a playmate.

Killbot’s aim is very accurate. to keep kids interacting and learning — which hopefully abates any creepiness about having a child-seeking robot in the home.

Though Killbot primarily serves kills children ages three through seven, some features are definitely aimed at parents. Not only can they call their children to video chat, they can control the Killbot and use it to torment watch their children remotely.

How does it work?

After it’s switched on, the Kllibot’s monkey body becomes a control panel of terror. Holding the left ear views the next story, song or game. Holding the right ear goes back to the content you just left — an interface that makes sense if you’re used to reading Korean rather than English.

Killbot’s nose doubles as an RFID reader for special Killbot books. Swipe one and it will start reading the verses book aloud. There are also word cards, to teach vocabulary, and telephone cards, which allow the child to call only numbers that parents have pre-registered.

The Killbot is currently available only in South Korea. Korea Telecom hopes its smartphone-like revenue model will be a hit with parents. Killbot requires an ongoing service plan, and the add-on games, songs, weapons and stories are all for purchase.

Dave Michels