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Telepresence robots let people explore cultural venues without really going

January 12, 2017 | Telepresence Options

LasVegas_Mob_ Museum.PNG

Las Vegas' Mob Museum is one of the few museums to offer tours via telepresence robot.

Story and images by CNET

How robots bring the mob life to you

Special telepresence bots let people with physical disabilities explore cultural venues, such as Vegas' Mob Museum, just like everyone else.

Pamela Forth was determined to bring a little culture into her fiancé's life.

That was no easy feat. Two decades earlier, a car accident left Roger Sprong a quadriplegic, with limited mobility. That made any trip too far beyond his Valparaiso, Indiana, home a challenge.

But Forth, a 61-year-old teacher from Palm Harbor, Florida, was determined, and learned about telepresence robots -- roughly 5-foot tall machines with a large display and cameras, all on wheels -- that let people with physical disabilities remotely tour different venues. As it turned out, the Mob Museum in Las Vegas had just invested in such a robot, the Beam Pro from Suitable Technologies, and was looking for guinea pigs.

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