Mother discovers, then destroys Chinese high school student's handwriting robot

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She destroyed it again? How awful!


That’s the problem with robots, isn’t it? For every one you see, there’s 100 in the walls.


So how much of a disadvantage will her daughter suffer due to destroying this device?
I bet she wasn’t the only one using it.


I knew I’d seen this before, thanks for saving me the trouble of finding the proof.

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A for effort.


It’s okay. @frauenfelder was just testing out the BB posting duplicator robot.


In 5th grade, we were given homework to write out our weekly spelling words 5 times each. Our teachers were fine with us typing them on a computer and handing in the print out.

This was back in the early 90s when few homes had computers, and copy-and-paste was not a household term.

I wrote a Basic program that would generate a text file with the words printed out 5 times each. I just had to type them once into the source code and bam, homework done.

I ended up never using the program to “cheat” since I was too scared of getting caught.


So it was sort of like Columbus discovering America.

My father always used to use the same questions in his tests when he taught, with the rationale that if they learnt the test, then job done.

not the way to build strong character


Well, since it made exact copies, none of the characters were better or worse than the others. /s


Her advantage going forward is that she’s smarter than her mother.


I wonder if the teacher would have gotten suspicious at the perfectly uniform lettering… I’ve played a lot with digital handwriting fonts in comics and no matter how natural the letters look individually, when you see a block of text the uniformity starts to look fake…


That kind of idea (the handwriting machine as a writing proxy for a student) is all fine and good until the test day. How ya gonna smuggle that thing into class and operate it without being given away immediately by the stepper motors happily whirring away?

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This is the problem with kanji (hanzu in Chinese). I had to learn them the same way in high school and college writing them hundreds of times.

Having a degree in Japanese language I can attest to how annoying learning a language with these characters is. It’s work. I’m no stranger to hard work at all given everything else my background entails but it just seemed like a lot of wasted time when you realize the next thing- here’s the thing- even if you do this and learn the traditional way your hand is dead and you eventually forget how to write the character anyway.

Not only did I learn Japanese in part this way but I also taught English in public schools as a JET teacher in Sapporo and I saw the same thing from the Japanese students learning their own language. And with the Japanese family I stayed with before all of this for a year while I went to a Japanese college to learn Japanese in Japanese, I saw the same result- no one can actually remember most of these characters at least beyond maybe a couple thousand for native speakers and they forget the rest and often forget even the basic ones.

The result in all three cases is the same- voice recognition and spelling autocomplete in Japanese software fills in the characters for you much the same way you do English words that you can’t remember the spelling of but you know when you see them written.

It’s an efficient language to read if you recognize the radicals but it is a fucking nightmare to write for everyone who uses it, and no one remembers all of the ones they are supposed to including the people who natively speak it. So I imagine Chinese is probably the worst offender because the entire language are these characters.

What surprises me is that someone actually made a physical robot for handwriting this stuff but if it was ever going to be done with any language Chinese was definitely where it was going to happen.

I kind of want to buy one of these now. For the same reasons. Ha!


Where were these when I was in school being forced to learn to write in cursive, up hill, both ways?


@Carla_Sinclair: “Good question. When my daughters get robotic work to do at home, I’m all for giving it to a robot so that they can do what humans do best: think.”

Since I missed Carla’s oringal post (compliments to @Melz2), I’ll set this here…


My days of handwritten homework are long in the past, but I kind of want one of these robots just to play around with

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