Robot attends school in place of injured student

Robot attends school in place of injured studentIBTimes UK

A Pennsylvania student injured in a car crash was still able to attend classes with the help of a robot.

Cole Fritz is a junior at Commodore Perry High School in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. He hasn't been able to attend classes in person since the crash last month. But now, he's able to see everything that goes on with the help of a robot.

The district leases the device from a company that provides online educational services. It's essentially an iPad mounted on a Segway. Cole controls the device from his computer keyboard at home, which he said was similar to playing a video game. He said the robot helps him keep up with his schoolwork, as well as with his friends.

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"It's really nice to be able to see everybody, to be able to see them and talk to them," he said.

School officials said the device saves them money. Without the device, they'd have to provide a teacher to tutor Cole at home. But it also provides Cole with a better education, by giving him instruction from his regular teachers.

"I feel like they're (students using the device) still at school," said Commodore Perry School Superintendent Kim Zippie. "And they're getting all their classes exactly the way everyone else is."

While the robot attracted a lot of attention at first, officials said it now seems like a regular part of the classroom.

Cole said the technology isn't perfect, but it's a great first step.

"I see it as a great foundation, a great starting, stepping stone, you know what I mean? There is a lot of room for improvement, but it is an excellent start," he said.

Cole is expected to return to school in person in early March.

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