Experts fear thousands of under-16s are falling out of...
- Education Professionals
Boy sends robot to school in his place
Devon Carrow, from New York, uses the £3,000 'robo-swot' to answer his teachers' questions and take part in group discussions, all from the comfort of his home.
The high-tech gadget uses HD cameras to show Devon his classroom and he can signal when he wants to give an answer with a flashing light.
Devon suffers from severe allergies to pets, dust, detergents, peanuts and dairy. The classroom environment with other children and adults is highly risky for him, so in order to get an education while staying safe he attends school via robot.
Using the VGo robot, Devon is able to attend classes, interact with his fellow students and teachers and roll around the hallways of Winchester Elementary School in West Seneca, New York.
At home, he has a workspace set up so that he can do his schoolwork just as though he were there in the classroom. His head and shoulders appear in the robot's screen, while a camera streams the robot's view back to him at home via Wi-Fi.
Devon’s Mum says the equipment helps him feel included in the class and helps him understand that he still has to go to school the same as anyone else, "The only thing that's different is Devon is not in the classroom, he's required to do everything every other kid does in the class."
Telepresence robots are just starting to enter the consumer marketplace, so their potential has yet to be fully explored, but for those who are immobilised due to injury or illness, it seems that the technology may be something of a life saver.