Classroom robots help homebound students

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(WIS) A pilot program through VGo Communcations is allowing medically homebound students to attend class using innovative four-and-a-half foot robots.

To most people, seeing a robot dressed up like a girl rolling around elementary school hallways and attending class would be out of the ordinary. Those at Alice Drive Elementary in Sumter, South Carolina have gotten used to it.

Third graders Hazel Grace Kolb and Lexie Kinder are best friends. Their desks sit side by side in their classroom, but lately Lexie's desk has been empty.

"We used to dress all up, and put a crown on her hair, and wiggle a wand, and put on little play high heels," says Hazel. "It made me feel like she wasn't going to be in class anymore, like she wouldn't be there and everything."

This remote tele-presence system, using the Verizon network, has changed that.

"It's not for every student but at the same time it can provide the school experience for students who can not be involved with that," says Dr. Shawn Hagerty, Director of Specialized Programs.

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