Telepresence Robots For Sick Kids Are So Effective, They Even Get Bullied

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Because children excel at anthropomorphizing the robots, kids who can’t physically be in school get the full educational experience—the good and the bad.

Story by Charlie Sorrel, Fast Company

For a kid, taking endless months off school sounds like a dream, even if you have to be sick to do it, but the reality is of course much different. For a kid, school is pretty much their whole life. Not only do they spend many of their waking hours in class, they also spend the rest of their social time with school friends. Chronic illness, which forces them to stay at home, is disastrous.

“Every year, large numbers of K-12 students are not able to go to school due to illness, which has negative academic, social and medical consequences,” says Veronica Newhart, Ph. D student at UC Irving, and co-author of a new paper on how telepresence robots can let sick kids stay in school, even while they are cooped up at home.

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