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Meet your prom date, a telepresence robot

April 23, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Leslie Katz / CNET

Two Kansas high school students who had to be out of state at prom time get to dance with their friends, from thousands of miles away, thanks to technology.

On a Saturday night earlier this month, Olivia Ledezma got all dressed up for her high school prom. So did her telepresence robot, which donned a pink feather boa and tiara for the occasion.


The robot, named Clark, had cause for festive attire. After all, it was making it possible for Ledezma, a Kansas sophomore, to "attend" the dance from thousands of miles away in California. The student council president used an app to control the wheeled robot remotely, with the iPad atop its adjustable pole neck letting her virtually interact, dance, and even play cards with classmates.

Dylan Wenk, a freshman, also attended via a telepresence robot, his named Lewis and wearing a bow tie. Like Ledezma, he's a Kansas resident, but was out of state at prom time, in Michigan.

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