Not well? Send a robot to classroom | india | Hindustan Times
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Not well? Send a robot to classroom

Half a second later, in a social studies class, a 5-foot-tall steel-blue robot raised its hand. "You have a question, Achim?" said the teacher.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 14:25 IST
AP

Lying in his hospital room, 13-year-old Achim Nurse poked his bandaged fingers at an orange button on what looked like a souped-up video game console.

Half a second later, in a social studies class, a 5-foot-tall steel-blue robot raised its hand. "You have a question, Achim?" said the teacher.

Achim is using a pair of robots — one, called 'Mr Spike,' at his bedside, and its mate, 'Mrs Candy," in the classroom — to keep up with his schoolwork for the months he will be bedridden.

The robot provides what its inventors call 'telepresence.' It gives the boy an actual presence in the classroom.

The program, called PEBBLES (Providing Education by Bringing Learning Environments to Students), has great potential, supporters say.

It could keep suspended students connected to classrooms and can even be used to treat autism as it gives the patient control of social environment.