420 students attend West Bend’s Fair Park Elementary plus one robot.
One first grader can always be present in her classroom even though she physically might not be there.
6-year-old Ari Martin has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA rendering her unable to walk. So she relies on a robot she named Robotica to help her. It’s almost like FaceTime on wheels.
The three thousand dollar investment by the school district will stay with Martin while she’s getting her education.
She actually spends three days a week in class. But the rest of time she is at home, working with her nurse, and spending several hours on the computer interacting with her classmates.
“Like she’s right here. Virtually here. Normal for us now,” says Special Education Teacher Becky Sohm.
The school district hopes to have more robots like this one. But we’re told they can only be paired up with students with more light-hearted personalities just like Martin.