A robotic friend is helping a housebound Tayside youngster keep up with her schoolwork.
The robot will attend school in 11-year-old pupil Chloe Hirsch’s place while she recovers from a serious hip operation.
The device, nicknamed Chloe 2, will sit in her class, allowing the Carlogie Primary School pupil to see and communicate with her classmates while she is convalescing at home.
Chloe will control the 38cm white robotic head and shoulders from her iPad.
It is the first time the technology has been trialled in Angus.
Mum Averil Hirsch said the technology was “marvellous”.
“It will sit in the classroom in Chloe’s place and it will light up when she’s using it,” she said.
“It means she will be able to see and talk to the whole class. Her classmates will be able to hear her but not see her.”
Averil said education staff had brought the robot to Chloe’s home before moving the device to the school where it will be stored.
Chloe and twin sister Ayley were born with cerebral palsy and had pioneering surgery at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri.
However, the family then discovered Chloe needed more surgery this year to help combat curvature of the spine.
She is now at home in Carnoustie recovering from the operation.
“Technology has come on so far Chloe can access everything she needs by sitting at home. This will help her keep up to date with her education and in touch with friends in the classroom,” Averil added.
Chloe said she was excited to meet the robot for the first time this week.
“The way that it looks is very cool. I am looking forward to being able to see my friends.”
Since 2012 the twins have had a series of operations as a result of their condition.
The AV1 robot has been designed to help children with long-term conditions and was first trialled in Scotland in Edinburgh in the latter half of 2017.
Norwegian company No Isolation are behind the design.
Jacqueline McGuire, principal teacher of the additional support needs service said: “We are really excited to be piloting the AV1 Robot with Chloe and Carlogie Primary School.
“The AV1 can help children who are too ill to attend school connect with their peers and learning while they are at home.”