Student Access Services and the Division of Student Affairs are introducing new technology this semester to help students with chronic health conditions attend class more regularly.
Students who cannot physically come to campus due to illness can remotely control the HofBot, a device that combines a motorized Segway-style base with an iPad, to attend class, interact with the professor and classmates, and record or take photos of notes on the board.
Hofstra University would be the first school in New York State to use this technology, which will have the capability of “traveling” to any building on campus. Students interested in testing the device can sign up with Student Access Services, located in the Mack Student Center, Room 107.
“I was very excited to learn of the HofBot. I have had several medical setbacks that prevented me from attending classes and forced me to withdraw from multiple semesters,” said Gina Barbara, a rhetorical studies major. “Now with the HofBot’s help, if I am unable to attend class I can still be a part of real-time class interactions. I’m aiming for May 2018 graduation and now with five classes to go, I can complete my studies on time.”
During the last few weeks, Student Life’s Facebook and Twitter accounts took nominations for a name for the device. Gurdeep Singh ’18 submitted the winning entry, HofBot, and won an iPad. Other popular entries were Rex, Twiggy, and Hofstra Rover.
“This virtual classmate will allow students to have a fully inclusive experience,” said Julie Yindra, director of Services for Students with Disabilities. “Keep an eye out for HofBot on campus and be sure to say hi to your fellow students who will be operating it. We ask all members of the Hofstra community to help out with opening doors, assisting HofBot over bumps on campus, or pressing elevator buttons if HofBot ever looks stuck.”
For more information, call Student Access Services at 516-463-7075.