No Isolation’s AV1 telepresence robot is helping one child take part in lessons at his school, without setting foot outside his home.
The Norwegian company’s innovation has been given to ten-year-old Keir Wallace to help him get involved in his school lessons despite having the incurable auto-immune disease FCAS2. It leaves him in excruciating pain and unable to attend school most of the time, but AV1 has become his gateway to the classroom.
The robot essentially replaces him in the classroom. It has a 360 degree camera on its head that streams everything happening as if he’s there. He can use the companion iPad at home to alert the teacher’s attention when he wants to answer a question – the equivalent of holding his hand up. Lights on the robot will start flashing to attract the teacher’s attention.
If he’s in too much pain to take part in the class, he can simply watch the lesson and a blue light will appear on the robot to show he won’t be active in the session.
“The robot allows Keir to keep in touch with his friends outside of school as well as attend classes,” Keir’s and full-time carer John Wallace told the Mirror. “It means that he’s able to see and speak to everyone that he normally wouldn’t be able to when off from school.
“And because the robot doesn’t have a screen for him to Skype into lessons, his classmates won’t see him when he’s in severe pain.”
Keir is currently borrowing the robot to see whether it is effective for his studies, although his parents have requested Edinburgh City Council buy him one so he is able to partake in classes for the foreseeable future.
They cost £2,200, plus a £90 fee is charged for a 4G data link.