In a New York school hallway, a teacher takes her class to the library-doesn’t sound too unusual right? Nope, all normal until you catch a glimpse of the sleek white robot with the face of a smiling boy visible on the video screen. Say what?
Meet VGo- the new productivity robot that lets a person be present no matter where they are physically. A vast improvement over traditional teleconferencing indeed, VGo not only lets you be seen and heard, but move around and interact on a whole new level. Now long distance learners, medical professionals and even business people aren’t tied down to one spot when interacting with others. This completely user controlled robot lets its operator be more than just a face on a monitor in a much less expensive way than ever before.
Developed by VGo Communications, the new interactive robot is just one in a long line of telepresence solutions for healthcare, work and school applications since the company delivered their first nearly two years ago. Founded in 2007, VGo Communications pulls together highly experienced talented veterans from both the robotics and communications industries. Building upon recent trends in lower specialized component costs and the widespread access of high speed wireless networks along with universal acceptance of video communications, VGo developed a new class of friendly, simple and affordable telepresence solutions.
The new VGo robot not only makes it easy for medical and business professionals to interact with patients, customers and vendors, but gives kids a chance that might otherwise not be able to attend school.
What’s even more remarkable is how easily accepted the technology is accepted by children in the classroom. To those raised in a world of video games and other remote controlled devices, the robot isn’t really noticeable. They just see their classmate. Teacher and student interact via a microphone the teacher wears that amplifies their voice. Instead of raising their hand, the student activates a light on the robot. The chess pawn shaped robot allows the student to easily navigate around the classroom and hallways of the school. It’s is exceptionally easy to operate, just another mouse/keyboard action to tech-savvy kids. The only thing the robot can’t do is climb steps, but by being super lightweight, a teacher or other adult can easily lift it for that.
Not all school systems have been accepting of the robot however, prompting parents to find schools that are. The cost of the robot is generally factored into a school budget and made a part of the student’s individual educational plan.