Future Tech: Hospital-Bound Student Receives Diploma At Graduation Using Robot
Black woman watching figure of graduate standing on digital tablet. Photo: John Fedele (Getty)
Imagine being told you’re going to miss graduation due to a life-threatening illness. You literally can’t leave the hospital. An Alabama high school student named Cynthia Pettway was recently faced with such a dilemma. Fortunately, she was able to “attend” the graduation ceremony, receiving her diploma with a helping hand from an iPad, a robot and the internet.
Details from The Washington Post say the 17-year-old was skeptical when her mom laid out the plan. “I didn’t think it was going to work,” Pettway said. “I was like, ‘Mama a robot, really?'”
Pettway was given an iPad so she and over 40 family members visiting her in the hospital could take in all of the action during LeFlore High School’s graduation ceremony. Another iPad was fitted to the robot. Pettway was then able to control its movement as it crossd the stage to uproarious applause from the crowd at the Mitchell Center. Check out the footage below.
“I’m my grandma’s first grandbaby, her first one to only go and get to walk that stage, so I had to walk that stage,” Pettway said. “And I rolled across that stage. The cheering came and then I got emotional. I was crying bad, tears of joy.”
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All was made possible through a partnership between MCPSS and USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. Technology can be a beautiful, uplifting thing when its used the right way. Congrats, Synthetic Cynthia (just a little nickname we came up with).