Telepresence robot promises new campus connections for distance students

School Mascot Pioneer Pete helped test the new robot, which the department believes will allow distance students to connect with campus in a new way.
February 15, 2017

At the UW-Platteville Distance Learning Center, we strive to provide access to tools and technologies that can help our students excel. We give students the opportunity to work with different software programs, communication platforms, and other online resourses that prepare them for work in virtual environments, whether for class or for their careers. With this goal in mind, we are pleased to announce the addition of a telepresence robot to our office.

The telepresence robot allows students, faculty and staff, and others who work with the DLC to have a physical presence on campus through virtual means. Course Development Manager David Leo has been working closely with the DLC Help Desk to test the robot before it becomes widely available for student and staff use.

“We have tested the robot in a number of simulated and real-world scenarios in order to ensure that off-site users could easily use the device to participate in events remotely. For example, during the fall graduation reception, attendees on campus were able to interact with remote employees who could not attend the reception, yet wanted to share their support.”

Cleo Magnuson, an instructional designer for the division who works remotely, took a turn with the device during the graduation reception. After a little training, she said she was able to easily navigate the robot and take part in the celebration in a unique way.

“By using the telepresence robot, I could literally move around the room in Platteville and talk to the graduates. All the while, I was at home in Atlanta, Georgia,” Magnuson said. “I had logged in to a web site to move the robot around the room and speak to the students and their families. It was exciting to meet the students who take online courses at UW-Platteville.”

If you are interested in using the telepresence robot, contact the DLC Help Desk at distedsupport@uwplatt.edu or 608.342.1303 to request a training session, review the usage policy, and schedule an appointment to use the robot.

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