A robot helps second-grader attend school

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on February 19, 2013

VGo Communications surrogate robot at #TEDMEDI first noticed this amazing innovation during the Superbowl in an ad for VGo, a robot that helped a young boy with life-threatening allergies attend his school. The boy’s name is Devon, and yes, he is real. So is the robot! Here is the story from FastCompany:

A robot best known for its appearance in widespread commercials is making life for one elementary school student just a little easier. As the Associated Press reported, Devon Carrow has used “VGo,” a white skinny robot, to be able to attend elementary school in West Seneca, N.Y. The second grader is unable to physically attend school because he suffers from severe allergies where a brush with peanuts, milk or other allergy-inducers could send him immediately into anaphylactic shock syndrome. He also suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis.

But using the robot, Devon can interact with his classmates and learn–just like other students. As his teacher told the AP: “”We don’t treat him any differently,” Voelker said. “He still has to turn in his homework. He still has to have his mother sign notebooks. He still has a job in this classroom–he’s the greeter. And he still has to pay attention–although there’s times I look and he’s off, the cat’s coming in the room.”

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