A small robot roaming the halls may soon be a common sight in some Manatee County schools.
The district purchased six VGo robotic devices earlier this year for about $5,000 each. The robots are a way to connect hospitalized or homebound students straight into their classroom.
The robots are getting a run-through at Braden River High School.
"In typical Hospital Homebound the teacher would go into the home and work with them, which is nice, but it loses that social interaction. ... Kids like to be around their friends and their peers and in their classrooms," said Nicole Cox, the associate director of Exceptional Student Education.
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Students who qualify for the program would have an app installed on their computer.
From there, they can direct their robot from class to class using their mouse or keyboard, in a similar to playing a video game. While in their classes, they are on a two-way video call that lets them see the lesson and interact with the class.
"They can participate with the other students, if they're doing board work they can sit somewhere where they can see the board clearly," Cox said.
The robots were delivered at the beginning of the school year, and right now only one is in use. The district is working to get them all up and running in the next few months.