Iowa Boy Attends Class With VGo Robot
February 17, 2012 – Edgewood, Iowa – The latest technology dominates many classrooms in Eastern Iowa. But for one boy in Edgewood, advanced technology in the form of the VGo Robotic Telepresence System, is his only way to be inside a classroom.
Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary school is a typical school building. Inside is a typical classroom full of students embracing the latest technology. But in one second grade classroom, one piece of technology is anything but typical. This technology is a friend – Aidan Bailey.
“Aidan is very immune suppressed. And he is even more so now because he just had this major surgery. His body is weakened by that. ” Aidan’s grandmother, Lori Gerhart said. Aidan was born with several health problems including a bad set of lungs. He’s had two lung transplant surgeries. The most recent was just a few months ago.
Aidan interacts with his teacher and classmates through the VGo from the safety of his home, 15 miles away. That’s where he controls the robot’s movement using just his laptop. He is able to see and hear his teacher, and interact with his classmates for projects and between lessons, too. Aiden had been using Skype to attend class, but it didn’t offer mobility. He has been using his VGo since June 2011, when his community planned a fundraiser to purchase the telepresence robot.
Aidan’s Grandmother, Lori Gerhart said, “He is expected to do every single thing as every other kid does in his class.”
Aidan’s health issues don’t stop him from being a kid. He loves pretending to be a police officer. He’s also fascinated with vacuum cleaners.
Gerhart said, “I don’t imagine Aidan’s path is ever going to be an easy path. But school takes the focus off that medical stuff. ”