V-Go Robot enables student to attend class

SAN ANTONIO – An Antonian High School student who has had to miss a lot of school because of health issues is now getting to use some new technology that will enable him to be part of the classroom.

It’s a robot called a “V-Go.”

These special robots are fixed with a camera and a wireless signal that stretches straight to their school.

Antonian High School freshman Matthew Vasquez said he has been out of the classroom quite a bit since he was diagnosed with Lymphoma in January.

Now with the help of a systems engineer from the Region 6 Education Service Center, Vasquez will be able to attend class by using the robot.

“They can actually use (the robot) for four hours a day and be with their peers and be with their friends and get their schooling,” said Kip Robins, systems engineer with the Region 6 Education Service Center. “So when they do get ready to go back into the classroom, they’re right with their class.”

Using this technology, Vasquez will be able to see the classroom using his laptop at home, while the V-Go robot is in the classroom. Students and teachers at the school will also be able to see Vasquez through a Skyped image of his face that will appear on the front screen of the robot.

On Wednesday, Vasquez tried out the technology for the first time.

“It was really cool because I really miss coming to school,” said Vasquez. “I miss seeing my friends everyday, my teachers. It’s really nice to finally see them.”

“He tells me everyday, ‘Ask the doctor if I can go back. I can wear a mask. I can do this,'” said Leo Vasquez, Matthew Vasquez’s father. “So just knowing now that he can participate daily with his classmates and his teachers, it means a lot to us.”

Matthew Vasquez said he had been taking home homework packets and e-mailing back and forth with teachers, but he says to attend class this way is so much better.

“It just really lifts my spirits,” Vasquez said. “Now I can see everybody, everyday. So, it’s real nice.”

So far, 26 students from across the state have been using these types of robots to attend school. Matthew will be number 27 and Robins said he can start using the new technology as early as Thursday.

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