Experiences when using a telepresence robot under the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearchpeer-review


Background: School absenteeism due to mental disorders and physical disabilities is an international problem. When children are absent from primary school, they do not receive the fundamental educational foundation they are entitled to. This affects their further opportunities to take a higher education later in their life.

Objective: Studies show telepresence robots can include absent students in the teaching and social life at school. The purpose of this project is therefore to investigate the opportunities and limitations of using a OriHime telepresence robot to teach absent primary school students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This project was a case study from a primary school in Denmark. The study included primary school students (n=3), teachers (n=5), parents (n=2), a school principal, a pedagogue, a school absentee consultant and a psychologist. The 14 participants have been interviewed based on interview guides. 20 hours of observation of the OriHime have been made in the classroom doing the pilot test. Afterwards OriHime was tested by an absent primary school student for a two-month period doing COVID-19.

Results: The absent students find that the OriHime is useful and a good alternative for them to be able to attend at class. Teachers and pupils find that the OriHime is useful in a class setting but not when making outdoor activities. The parents find that the OriHime can include the absent students in the teachings and the social life in class.

Conclusions: The absent students experienced that OriHime could function as an educational and a social tool during COVID-19 and that it was possible to participate in the indoor teachings while being physically absent. The absent students, teachers and parents find OriHime useful with opportunities but stated some limitations. Based on the results a guideline for implementation of OriHime in Danish primary schools was produced.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date30 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2022
EventDigital Health Beyond Covid-19: TTRN-CPH 2022 Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network (TTRN) - Aalborg University Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 29 Aug 202230 Aug 2022


ConferenceDigital Health Beyond Covid-19
LocationAalborg University Copenhagen
Internet address


  • COVID-19
  • Telepresence robot
  • School absenteeism
  • Primary School


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