Worthington cheers on student attending class with… a robot

10-year-old Worthington student goes to school via his iPad and a robot

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Every morning it helps Jacob Haldeman wake up. It rolls through the hallways of Worthington Estates Elementary School, making sure Jacob does not miss a moment at school.

In this case, a robot did not replace a human. It created a new pathway between humans.

Jacob, age 10, is a different kind of “home-schooled” in that he simply goes to school… from home. His robot is connected to an iPad which uses FaceTime to connect him to his iPad at home. He can do his assignments and take notes from home, plus keep up with friends.

The robot came as an idea from a classmate’s parent at Ohio State, who had access to the robot technology. Jacob’s need to stay home stems from a lingering respiratory illness which has confused doctors. In late 2015 Jacob collapsed under severe pain in a Walmart and rushed to the hospital. Doctors have yet to target what happened, but they suspect Jacob will need a double lung transplant. Recent tests have been somewhat encouraging, so the Haldeman family is awaiting a second opinion. He only leaves home for doctor appointments or to visit his grandparents house. Only a few visitors have come by, to reduce the risk of germs in the house.

Jacob’s mother, Ashleigh, serves as the cheerleader sponsor at her alma mater, Thomas Worthington. Friday night her Cardinals boys basketball team met their district rivals from Worthington Kilbourne before a full house at TWHS. Worthington district staffers decided to support Jacob by having him as a special guest to the game… through his robot. At halftime, Jacob drove his robot to center court, and with his mother and sister on hand, he waved to the cheering crowd. The student section chanted “Jacob, Jacob, Jacob” as he turned his robot around to face them. The TWHS team signed a basketball for him.

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s