VGo Improving Lives, One Student at a Time

The value opportunities for VGo are vast, not unlike the cellphone market. We are creating a new way of communicating; the robotic telepresence solutions will co-exist with other communication models as an alternative paradigm for when people want to be empowered in a different location not just communicate. When we began the process of developing this robotic telepresence, we had no idea the impact it would have on the handicapped or chronically ill student in providing for an under-served new market: the remote student.

This is an ever-growing group of students that are attending school via their VGos because of debilitating health conditions.  An unfortunate side-effect of the challenges these kids face is that they are cast into a life where they solely interact with adults, rather than their peers. Many of you have seen the press on these students, so you can understand the tremendous improvement that these kids are experiencing in their lives. Their parents and caregivers provide a support structure, which is critical, but they cannot replace the simple interactions that a fellow student can provide when working on a classroom project or talking about a sports game. 

Recently, we brought you a story about Cris Colaluca who was born with spina bifida, and developed several other health conditions. (Watch the story from Pittsburgh 360). This is not the first time Cris' story has made news - it is, afterall - such a compelling one, not unlike the boy himself.  Empowered with the VGo, Cris' attitude toward school completely changed.  One of Cris' specialists, Dr. Andrew Urbach commented, "Sometimes, when you have a sick child, just that little bit of hope helps with the medical situation, too, because they say that your attitude has a lot to do with your healing.” After being out of school and away from his friends, he is now not only attending class, but also assemblies, club meetings and other extracurricular activities.   

Pennsylvannia Congressman Jason Altmire recently visited Cris in his home. "I am amazed at the doors this robot is opening for him... Cris is able to virtually attend classes, interact with his schoolmates, and contribute daily in class.  This technology made this all possible, and I hope other disabled students are able to benefit from it in the future.”

To see this amazing boy who has been sick his entire life having an interaction, via the VGo, with a classroom of kids is nothing short of emotionally inspiring. It has provided the team here at VGo with a purpose and perspective that we did not seek but have now embraced as motivation to continue to develop great products.

Stay tuned for more about Cris in a feature story from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this Sunday. We are humbled by the challenges these young warriors are taking on and are proud to be a small part of the team that is providing them a solution which is improving their lives.

Editors Note: Click here for the article and video from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.