Boy Stepan Supin Stays Home, Sends Robot To School

January 24th, 2011 - 5:07 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
845218-stepanJan 24, (THAINDIAN NEWS) Moscow’s school number 166 is blessed with a very special student. However, the student is not a human but a robot, named Stepan. He serves a very special and noble purpose in the classroom, as he helps his little twelve year old friend, the real Stepan Supin, to take lessons while he sits in front of his computer at home. This is because the twelve year old is suffering from leukemia and by now, his immune system is too weak to assure safety outside his home.

Stepan the robot, is equipped with a web cam, a loud speaker, a micro phone and a screen. The web cam enables the little boy to see what is being taught in the class, the micro phone helps him in grasping the teacher’s lecture. Similarly, if he has any queries, he can put it through the screen that is placed on Stepan’s plastic body, looking at which, the teacher can clarify the doubts of the ailing student. Alla Gevak, a teacher of the school said that they address the robot as Stepan. She also added that the robot starts the lectures just like an ordinary student, but as the class proceeds, he gets more active. He has been helping the boy since September, and makes him follow his history, English, geography and Fresh classes. Stepan Supin said that though he remains absent from the classroom, he feels his presence, as he can see everything though the robot’s eyes. He can move the robot’s head in his desired direction and make him work fast or slow according to his convenience. Even Stepan Supin’s mother, Nina Supina feels happy, as now her son can take part in the fun and frolic along with his class mates.

Stepan, the robot was designed by Moscow institute, under the coordination of Vyacheslav Kravtsov. This school received the robot for free from the designers. Vyacheslav Kravtsov said that this robot that would cost about $3000, can come to several uses. It can help many other disabled people like Stepan Supin.

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