Severely ill schoolboy sends robot into classroom as his eyes and ears

  • Watch Graham Stothard's report for ITV News Anglia

A severely ill boy from Northampton has been sending a robot into the classroom when he has to stay at home.

Alexander Harvey, 13, from Northamptonshire has a rare and severe lung condition.

So he doesn't miss out on too much school, he has a robot which interacts with others in the classroom, even if he is at home or at the hospital.

Alexanda said: "I basically sign in on my iPad and I can work, I can talk to my friends, I can talk to my teacher.

"I can do different facial expressions because there are two eyes on here and a little mouth. There's an exciting face, there's a sad face and a normal face."

The AV1 robot, made by No Isolation, acts as Alexanda's eyes and ears in the classroom. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The AV1 robot, made by a company called No Isolation, acts as Alexanda's eyes ears and voice in the classroom. It can be controlled on an app on Alexanda's tablet from his hospital bed or from his home.

Libby Harvey, Alexanda's mum, said: "For him it still feels like he's part of the school, as opposed to not being so much. It still gives him that connection with the school."

The company behind the technology says the AV1 is placed on a desk in the classroom, while the child is at home using their device. The child can see, hear and be heard in the lesson as AV1 has a camera, microphone and speaker built in.

Alexanda's condition means he often has to miss school. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A spokesperson for No Isolation said: "For children who miss out on long periods of school, due to factors beyond their control, loneliness and social isolation can be a problem with major educational and social consequences.

"School isn’t purely about learning and subject matter, it’s the most important social arena in a child’s life. It’s where life-long relationships are formed, and the experiences define who we become."

Alexanda Harvey from Northamptonshire often has to miss school because he has a lung condition. Credit: ITV News Anglia