Sick? Send Your Robot to School

Posted 1 Jun 2006 at 13:29 UTC by Rog-a-matic Share This

13-year-old Achim operates the school-going telerobot called "Mrs Candy" from his hospital bed. The 5-foot-tall robot can raise its hand at Achim's whim, and communicate with the teacher and others. A similar robot at his bedside named "Mr Spike" is his partner in education while he recovers. The project is called P.E.B.B.L.E.S. (Providing Education By Bringing Learning Environments to Students) which allows students in the hospital to attend school through a videoconferencing robot. It's the result of a research partnership between the The Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto, Ryerson Polytechnic University, and Telbotics. The robotic system has also been suggested as a treatment for those with autism who might thrive if they had more control over their social environment. Might be an interesting twist to a remake of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

The beginning of telerobotics, posted 1 Jun 2006 at 14:52 UTC by motters » (Master)

I expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the next few years, with a scope for applications much wider than just schools or hospitals. Such telepresence robots could be mass produced very cheaply, so that they become consumer products. They only really need minimal onboard electronics to send and receive data via WiFi networks.

iChat, posted 3 Jun 2006 at 01:34 UTC by thorn_stevens » (Journeyer)

Apple's iMac product, with built-in video conferencing and video camera, would seem to be an easy enough platform to use, and dirt cheap.

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