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Boy Attends School Via Robot


Unable to physically go to school because of severe allergies, 7-year-old Devon Carrow “attends” Winchester Elementary School remotely using a robot with a wireless video connection, reports the Associated Press. With the help of his 4-foot-tall VGo bot, Carrow can take part in classroom discussions and even walk the halls—driving the four-wheeled robot through a mouse and keystrokes.

“With this he really gets a feel, a sensation, of being there," said Principal Kathleen Brachmann.

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Carrow suffers from an allergic inflammatory condition called eosinophilic esophagitis and anaphylactic shock syndrome, which can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. With the VGo robot, introduced in 2011, Carrow is able to attend school for the first time.

"It's so cool because it's like playing a game on the computer," Carrow said of the VGo. "It's like your objective is to just survive."

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But to his hi-tech classmates, Carrow is just a regular student—he gets to play with his friends at recess and is expected to complete his homework assignments on time.

"I wondered how the little kids would take to him, thinking they'd be amazed," Brachmann said. "But I think kids are so tech-savvy now that they accept it more than we do."