Students at the Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo used robotic stand-ins for a graduation ceremony. The robots, dubbed "Newme" by developer ANA Holdings, were dressed in graduation caps and gowns for the ceremony.
Spring graduation ceremonies in Japan have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but students at one school were able to attend remotely by controlling avatar robots while logged on at home. Photo: CNET
The robots' "faces" were tablets that displayed the faces of the graduates, who logged on at home and controlled the robots via their laptops. Photos: PR Time
One by one, the robots motored toward the podium to receive their diplomas. School staff clapped and said "congratulations!" as University President Kenichi Ohmae placed the diplomas on a rack mounted on the robot's midsection.
Ipads attached to 'newme' robots replacing graduating students' presence at a ceremony, wear graduation gowns and hats in Tokyo, Japan.
The university hopes its approach can be adopted by other schools looking to avoid mass gatherings.
"I think this is truly a novel experience to receive a certificate in a public area while I am in a private space," Kazuki Tamura said via his computer avatar when receiving his master's degree diploma.