LEACHIM, Dr. Freeman's first teaching robot.

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The predecessor to 2-XL was Leachim, a nearly six-foot-tall robot that was really the first successful attempt at voice output computing. Dr. Freeman created Leachim with his own hands using old computer parts from RCA Spectra 70 computers. It taught in a school in NYC (the Bronx) and could move its body parts, log in each student using its dial pad, and taught each kid at his or her own level. It had a memory of each student, including what their interests were, and it spoke its output by branching between speech-parts Dr. Freeman recorded on the various stacks of computer discs inside Leachim's base. It even had a rudimentary visual screen called a "Tableau."

Leachim worked so well it became an international wonder. Among Leachim's hundreds of TV appearances were the Mike Douglas show, the Today Show, and an hour-long appearance on Phil Donahue. Leachim was also written about in the Whole Earth Catalog, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Paris Match, and was even on the cover of Scholastic Magazine.

Although 2-XL was considered the smaller version of Leachim, it actually now has more in common with Kasey the Kinderbot, considering that both could move their limbs and had a viewscreen. And just like 2-XL meant "To Excell," the name Leachim has another meaning -- it's Michael spelled more-or-less backwards.

Click Here To read a scan of the Time Magazine article about Leachim.

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