MissingSchool has launched a telepresence robot pilot with funding from St.George Foundation’s new Inspire Grant. MissingSchool’s pilot will place up to 75 telepresence robots in willing schools to demonstrate that continuous two-way connection is possible between seriously sick children and their classrooms when they are absent, missing school.
Robots live in the regular classrooms of students, are operated and moved in real-time by the student on their device from the remote location (home or hospital). They feel empowered with their independence, can see their teachers, receive the same instruction as their peers, move around/between classrooms if allowed, socialise with friends, and participate in as much of the school day as possible with their classmates.
The pilot began in the ACT and is being rolled out in other states across Australia. See our media release.
Participating schools, hospital schools and hospitals will be among some of the first in the world to be implementing this solution for this purpose at a systems level. While some individual schools are successfully using robots, there are only a few whole jurisdictions in the world using this technology for this purpose. The pilot gives Australia the opportunity to be a world-leader in education and paediatric health setting innovations in this context, and to better meet children’s rights and wellbeing in education and healthcare. It builds on government commitments to broadening approaches to disability education, equity and inclusion, digital transformation and STEM in schools.
If you’re a sick kid, the family of a sick kid, a teacher, principal, or health professional interested in participating in the pilot, or if you’d just like to keep up to date with the pilot, please…