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School lessons despite chemotherapy: a robot sits in Jacob’s place

School lessons despite chemotherapy: a robot sits in Jacob’s place

This is how he sees his friends.

School lessons despite chemotherapy: a robot sitting on Jacob’s chair (12)

Yesterday, 07/24/2023 | 10:38 p.m

Jacob, a 12-year-old student at the Viechtach Realschule, has been absent from class for five weeks because he has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing chemotherapy. A robot avatar was introduced to enable him to go to school despite his illness, as reported by the Passauer Neue Presse.

Jacob’s father, Klaus, brought the device to class and connected it to Jacob’s tablet via WiFi or mobile connections, so he could participate in the lesson directly from the infirmary. The little white robot enables Jacob to look around the classroom in 360 degrees, interact with his classmates and teachers and actively participate in class.

The Association for the Advancement of Children with Cancer and Physical Disabilities in Eastern Bavaria, VKKK, has made the family aware of this. Although Jacob is also taught by the hour in the hospital during extended stays, this is not a substitute for school lessons. “This is how he sees his friends, is actively involved, and is also a distraction from the hospital,” says Klaus.

Thanks to the robot, Jacob can see everything in the classroom

Thanks to the built-in camera, Jakob can see everything in the class and control the robot via the app, for example making the avatar’s eyes look thoughtful, sad or happy. In this way, he can actively participate in the lesson, ask and answer questions.

The picture and sound are transmitted in real time, but no recordings are made and no screen recordings can be made for data protection reasons. Before using an avatar, all students’ parents and teachers had to give their consent.