Oklahoma boy uses robot to attend class

CNN
Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 11:56am

Illness has kept an Oklahoma first grader from setting foot inside a classroom.

But he's still able to attend class, and even travel the halls of his school, with the help of some futuristic technology.

"Do you see me Conrad?"

He does...but not how you'd expect him to.

Conrad sees his classmates, and they see him...his face in the monitor of a telepresence system, a robot.

He's had to miss a lot of class because of severe allergies and a very rare immune system disorder, so rare it doesn't even have a name.

As far as his family knows, little Conrad is the only one in the world who has it.

And they hope a bone marrow transplant will get them healthy enough to enjoy a normal life.

He leaves this weekend for Denver, and is taking his new robot with him.

"I just have to have it because I'm going to Denver for something called a bone marrow transplant and I'm going to be leaving for a while. And that's all I pretty much know."

This is his second time to tinker with the robot.

"You take the mouse, I just put it there and whoa, whoa!"

His little fingers maneuvering across the keys and mouse.

"Hey, Conrad."

"Hey."

Directing the device to just about anywhere he wants to go...

"I really need to get out of here."

"I see you again."

Teacher permitting...

"I don't know if they would let me go into every room, but I could."

"You silly Conrad."

So even though Conrad will be in Denver, he'll still be able to virtually be in the classroom and communicate with the rest of the students.

"What are you doing Conrad?"

He can even go on field trips, controlling his telepresence device from hundreds of miles away.

He's the first person in Oklahoma to have one.

"It's funny because they might have lots of those in the future."

Because of Conrad's illness his school really had a though time trying to serve him, until they found this one of a kind robot.

"It's a true blessing, and honestly it was a lot of answered prayer. We just have tremendous hopes, we're very excited about this opportunity."

"So many people saying bye!"

"We'll miss you."  

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