10:43 AM EST, February 26, 2013
School kids gathered around a very special classmate. But it's not a boy. It's a robot, and it's giving a real life second grader the chance to attend school for the first time.
Seven-year-old Devon Carrow cannot physically set foot in his neighborhood elementary school in Buffalo, New York, because he suffers from life threatening allergies.
Devon said, “It’s so cool, it's just like playing a video game except in school. It’s just so cool.”
His mother said, “When he was a little boy, they used to call him the boy in the bubble.”
Now the robot lets Devon interact with kids he would otherwise be unable to ever meet.
Classmate Daisy helps make sure Devon is getting the full experience.
The robot is called a V-GO. It costs $6,000 and is connected wirelessly to Devon’s home. Devon sees everything live as it happens. The robot allows Devon to participate in school tasks, just like the other kids.
First thing in the morning, he greets his classmates, and then participates in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The robot is Devon’s eyes and ears.
His teacher, Dawn Voekler, says Devon is learning like everyone else. Kids see the robot as Devon.
Dawn said, “He has really opened up children's eyes and hearts as well as my own, just giving kids the opportunity to work with kids who are different.”
Devon's robot is even sent on errands to the principal's office. He maneuvers through the hallways with the other kids. It's the next best thing to being there.