(Reuters) – Juili Kale’s dreams to receive her master’s degree diploma in a ceremony cheered on by her family were dashed by the coronavirus – until robots came to the rescue.
Kale, who has been studying at Arizona State University, had planned the day for months. Her parents and brother would fly in from India, and a social media clock counted down the days until out-of-state friends would arrive in Phoenix for a big party.
But in March, the coronavirus pandemic ended those plans, as colleges nationwide closed down to stop the spread.
“The clock stopped at T minus 67,” said Kale, 40.
But the ceremony will take place, after all – just not as she anticipated.
Cameras pre-recorded Kale and about 140 of her fellow graduates as they logged on at home this week, dressed in graduation robes and mortar board caps. They took turns moving a remote-controlled robot on a podium at the university that held an eye-level display showing their face. Via the robot, they approached the dean…
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