By Dave Crawley, CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A traveling robot with a human face and voice rolled through Children’s Hospital Wednesday morning.
It’s one of two VGo robots donated by a young man who has benefited from the hospital’s care.
“I’m able to do what I wasn’t able to do before,” says 19-year-old Cris Colaluca.
With support from Verizon, the high school senior has given the robots to the hospital that has helped him with his rare seizure disorder.
“Basically, I just got the word out to people that I could get it out to. My sister and brother-in-law, they all donated,” he says.
His senior project is a GoFundMe campaign.
“The user of the robot can see what the robot sees, can speak through the robot, can hear what the robot hears,” says Dr. Steve Docimo, “and thus can interact with a remote environment. And Cris actually uses the VGo robot to attend school from home.”
KDKA visited Cris a few years back at his home in New Castle, while VGo went to class for him at Mohawk Junior High.
“As time went on,” he adds, “they just treat it as another kid in the hall.”
He controls VGo with his iPad. These are his second and third robot donations. The first was through Make-a-Wish Foundation
“I donated one a year and a half ago, and I thought they need more,” he said.
To top it off, he hopes to raise money for yet another one.