WEST SENECA, N.Y. (AP) — In an elementary school hallway, a teacher takes her second-graders to the library, leading a single-file line of giggling boys and girls that's perfectly ordinary until you get to a sleek white robot with a video screen showing the face of a smiling, chubby-cheeked boy.
Devon Carrow's life-threatening allergies don't allow him to go to school. But the 4-foot-tall robot with a wireless video hookup gives him the school experience remotely, allowing him to participate in class, stroll through the hallways, hang out at recess and even take to the auditorium stage when there's a show.
For a year now, Devon has attended school using "VGo," a robot shaped a little like a chess pawn and best known for its appearance in a Verizon television ad showing the kind of technology possible using the company's wireless network.
Since it was introduced in 2011 by Nashua, N.H.-based VGo Communications, a handful of students across the country have used it, including in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Texas and Iowa.
It's also attracting attention in the medical and business worlds, allowing doctors to consult with patients and workers to virtually pop into the office, even while traveling.
For Devon, it was a chance to go to school, albeit remotely, for the first time in his life.