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Tech Could Help Students Learn During Extended Absences


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The Kubi telepresence device.

A new program at the University of Colorado uses telepresence robots to help students maintain a presence in class, even when they cannot physically be there.

Credit: Revolve Robotics

A new program at the University of Colorado (CU) relies on robots to help students maintain a presence in class even when they cannot physically be there.

The university is using 15 Kubi robotic devices mounted on tripods, fitted with tablets, and placed in classrooms. Students who have to miss class for any number of reasons can use their laptops to interact with their classmates and move the devices to scan the classroom.

About 10 students used the program this semester, and CU officials plan to expand the program in the future.

Said CU's Tarah Dykeman, if students "aren't able to be accommodated officially by disability services, this is a great way for them to remain in their classes and not have to lose a semester's worth of time."

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