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Brazilian Animator Visits Vancouver Siggraph Technology Conference via Robot

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A volunteer leads a telepresence robot through the halls of SIGGRAPH.

SIGGRAPH volunteer Leticia Cabral with computer animator Paulo Henrique Machado, who was able to participate in SIGGRAPH from his hospital bed in Sao Paolo, Brazil, via a telepresence robot.

Credit: The Vancouver Sun

For 47-year-old Paulo Henrique Machado, a computer animator who’s paralyzed and has lived in a hospital in São Paulo, Brazil since he was a baby, the dream of going to SIGGRAPH has always been just that — a dream.

This year that dream came true thanks to a telepresence robot he has dubbed R2D2 that’s allowing Machado to virtually join some 15,000 other delegates in Vancouver for the globe’s most prestigious computer graphics conference.

From his hospital bed in São Paulo, where he has lived since polio he contracted as an infant left him paralyzed and hooked up to an artificial respirator 24 hours a day, Machado toured the conference and participated in sessions, his smiling face appearing on the screen of an iPad hooked up to a donated robot and his voice broadcast through an attached speaker. His official SIGGRAPH badge was hanging on the robot.


From The Vancouver Sun
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