In collaboration with Michigan State University (US), the University of Akureyri introduced telepresence robots that are controlled by users via a computer or smart device. Users can move around campus, attend lessons, hold meetings, participate in conversations and teach on campus. What is more, users can move around to better see fellow students and co-workers, allowing them to take up more physical space, comparable to those present. For example, when people are seated at a table, the telepresence robot also has a seat.
One of the advantages is that the user is in control and can move around, improving communications within the university for students and teachers who do not live in or are outside Akureyri. Users report that having a presence on location is one of the major advantages of using telepresence robots, not to mention the ability to be on campus even when the weather is poor or other factors interfere. The project, which saves users time and money, is environmentally friendly and reduces the carbon footprint because traveling to campus is not always necessary.