Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Leyden's First Robot Student... Wait, what?

Say hello to, well, I'm not sure it has an official name yet.  I've heard options like R2D212 (my personal favorite), C3CMe (another good one), or maybe just Double.  Whatever the name ends up being isn't nearly as exciting as the opportunities this unit provides.  Thanks to Double Robotics, Leyden now has a Double 2 telepresence robot that can simply become the physical presence for a student that cannot attend school.  Think video hangout on wheels.  The student uses either a web interface or iPad/iPhone app to drive the robot around (yep, even from class to class), uses the cameras and microphone/speaker to interact with teachers and other students, and has the ability to take photos or share a website.  This robot allows students that would otherwise be disconnected from school to fully participate in most of the daily activities.

We don't have a specific student user in mind just yet as we are still learning how to operate and maintain the robot.  Our East Leyden Tech Support Intern (TSI) students are currently experimenting and learning as much as they can.  Once we get the hang of it, we'll determine how to best implement the robot and who might qualify to use it.  I'm confident it will become a valuable tool that does more than make appearances on The Bachelor and Modern Family.

I do have to admit that when we first started looking at this robot, it was hard not to think about how cool it would be to have one for myself.  I mean, I could finally be in two places at one time. That dream quickly dissipated after we watched the following case study from Sebasticook Valley Middle School, which put the focus back to where it should always be, on our students:

Stay tuned for more posts on how the robot gets used at Leyden, and what we eventually name it.  In the meantime, check out the Double Robotics Customer Stories page for more interesting case studies and usage stories.

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