We’ve seen reports from several schools now which are experimenting with robotic technologies to help sick kids maintain a presence in the classroom. These have generally been in the US, although the literature records their use in Russia and some Asian countries also. The robots are mobile, controlled by the student, and carry video-conferencing capabilities to allow the student to interact remotely, but in real time, with classmates and teachers.
The robots are expensive, and privacy concerns have been raised as barriers to their adoption, but those students and teachers interviewed for media stories have been unanimous in their enthusiasm. The advertisement from Verizon probably says it all : they’re “making it possible … for a kid to feel like a kid again”.