Robot allows injured student to attend class

Riley Pruit, a sophomore at Rider High School uses robot to attend school following an injury. Source: KAUZ
Riley Pruit, a sophomore at Rider High School uses robot to attend school following an injury. Source: KAUZ
Riley Pruit, a sophomore at Rider High School uses robot to attend school following an injury. Source: KAUZ
Riley Pruit, a sophomore at Rider High School uses robot to attend school following an injury. Source: KAUZ

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - One high school student in Wichita Falls is getting the opportunity to attend class from home with the help of robotics.

Last year, Rider High School sophomore Riley Pruit was injured, and she was completely homebound from October 2017 to January of this year.

For the last few weeks, Riley has been able to go to class, but only for half a day.

"People clear out of the way for a robot," said Pruit. "It is actually pretty neat to use a robot."

In January, Riley's mom got the idea to use a robot so she could still go to class. The robot, named Eve, is nicknamed Riley while she uses it.  It has drawn a lot of attention from classmates.

"They think it is pretty neat to have a robot in class and not a student," said Pruit.

The robot works with an internet connection. The sophomore can fully operate the robot through her laptop.

She can sit in on class and ask questions with the help of a webcam.

"I think we are probably going to see this a lot more," said Reid Graves, Riley's English teacher.  "It seems to be working very effectively."

Since the robot started going to class, Riley has been able to get back on track with her school work.

"The fact that she was behind in her classes when she first started and to see that she is making progress with catching up and getting where she needs to be, it is a relief," said Xochitl Pruit, Riley's mom.

Riley hopes her classmates can see what she is doing and be inspired.

"I knew that somehow Riley was going to make an impact in her life," said Xochitl Pruit.  "I didn't know it was going to be this way."

"I hope that kids can go to class, and they can do stuff like this on the robot, even while they are injured or sick," said Riley Pruit.  "They can go to a class using Eve."

That robot comes from Region 9, which has two robots available to use in the classroom.

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