A future in which robots will do everything for us is already here. The best example of this is a boy from Germany. He is sick and stays at home, but he attends school almost every day.
Joshua Martinangeli, a student at an elementary school in Berlin, got sick and had to stay home. Since he doesn’t like to skip classes, he decided to show up to his class with his virtual avatar in the form of a little robot. The whole situation may seem strange, but it did happen and even showed that robots can now be used in practice.
“Kids talk to it, laugh with it, and sometimes even ask and whisper in class. Joshi can do that, too, and it’s pretty good,” said Ute Winterberg, principal of the Pusteblume-Grundschule in Berlin. Representing the 7-year-old at the school was the little Avatar AV1 robot, which was equipped with a movable head with a built-in camera, microphone and loudspeaker. The robot is only 30 cm in size and weighs only 1 kg, which makes it easy to place on the school desk during lessons.
The robot allows the boy to participate normally in lessons and to have constant contact with his peers. When Joshua wants to say something, the robot informs the teacher and she can give him the floor. The robot constantly sends images and sounds of the classroom environment to the boy’s smartphone. The creators of the robot boast that not only the students like this solution, but also the teachers who want to stay in touch with their students.