A strange robot sneaks into the classrooms of the Ecole Supérieure des Technologies et des Affaires (ESTA). He does 1.40m tall, is on wheels and displays Stevy’s face on a screen.
The idea of having a robot I thought was very cool – Stevy, the young handicapped person who uses this device
Stevy is a student who entered Belfort school in 2017 but had a serious road accident in 2019. He found himself paralyzed and in a wheelchair, and therefore had to return home to the Paris region for treatment. Since then, he has not been able to return to Belfort to take lessons.
“On the one hand, fortunately for me there was the covid crisis because in 2020, no one was going to class, everything was done remotely so I was able to follow like everyone else. Then, the school came to me to offer me this robot solution in order to find a kind of face-to-face“explains the young man.
“And the idea of having a robot I thought was very coolhe laughed, though he wasn’t sure exactly what he was going to look like.
A robot offered by a company
The idea for the robot came from ESTA. Aline Husson, the school’s business development director, had already spotted this robot-student system.
“Some schools used it for students with covid who wanted to continue attending classes. So we thought that might be the solution for Stevy. So I started to charge a company that could help us finance this robot because it’s an investment, it costs around €10,000.“
the partnership was finally realized with Ausy, whose managing director, Jérôme Gontard, is a former ESTA employee. “It took less than six months to develop and manufacture the robot, three of our engineers worked on it. It works largely with Artificial Intelligence.“
Result: a easy to use robot for Steve. “It is very intuitive, I guide it either with the arrows on my keyboard or with my mouse. I can move around as I want, I hear and I see everything!“
Strong mutual support with classmates
He just needs a a helping hand from his comrades to turn on and charge the robot, which he found very quickly. With Florian, Tom and other students, he quickly made a friends group. “At first it was a little destabilizing to speak with a robot, says Florian with a smile, but as we see via the screen we forget quite quickly. In addition, we feel his presence, he comes with us on break, it’s great.“
A small group was quickly formed to help me integrate. We do group work together and they’ve become my friends now – stevy
Stevy has very quickly reassured by the benevolence of his comrades. He greatly dreaded this return to a promotion he did not know without being able to see them in person.
A friendship that goes from the screen to the real
“A small group was quickly formed to help me integrate. We do group work together and they have become my friends now, we contact each other outside of class, we phone each other, etc.“
The small group is also in the process of plan their first meeting in person. “Either Stevy will come to see us in Belfort, or we will go to see him in the Paris region.” his friends are already delighted.
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Belfort: disabled and paralyzed, Stevy follows his lessons thanks to a robot that goes to class in his place
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