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Life-threatening allergies lead to use of remote-controlled robot

Often times, people with disabilities here in Texas learn about new or existing impairments by hearing stories out of other states across the nation.  A recent story out of New York this month is teaching people across the country about the difficulties people with severe allergies face everyday and how they are dealing with their serious disability.

Take the case of a 7-year-old boy out of West Seneca, New York.  His life-threatening allergies to eggs, dairy, peanuts and other foods has almost completely isolated him from the outside world and has even prevented him from going to school.  But with the help of a remote-controlled robot, the boy is experiencing normal life despite his severe medical condition

During school hours, the 7-year-old remotely controls a robot called VGo through the hallways of his school and attends class all from the comfort of his bedroom. A webcam allows him to see everything that's going on in the classroom and at school, and a monitor on the front of the robot displays his image so that everyone can see him. And even though he has never stepped foot in the school, his mother says the robot allows him to visualize that he's actually there.

In the event that he needs one-on-one help, the school has provided him with a teacher's aide that can help him when needed. His older brother, who does not have the same allergy problems, picks up and drops off his assignments. "It gives him purpose," explains his mother who has noticed a huge improvement since the implementation of the robot. She says that his mood and self-esteem have improved, and her son now feels integrated in a life that he could have been completely isolated from had it not been for the use of the robot.

Source: ABC News, "Boy With Severe Allergies Attends School Via Robot," Gillian Mohney, May 3, 2013