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ASU Global Management graduates to 'walk' with robots in virtual ceremony

telepresence Dean K (5).jpg
Posted at 11:19 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 10:23:26-04

TEMPE, AZ — What’s graduation going to look like for thousands of students across the world this year? For some graduates at Arizona State University, it’s going to look very futuristic!

ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management says it will be utilizing telepresence robots, more commonly known as “avatar robots,” to give students a chance to “walk” in a ceremony.

The robots will stand in place and be awarded a degree in a public ceremony with Dean Sanjeev Khagram in attendance on May 11, 2020.

Live video and audio on each robot will give students a chance to experience graduation in real-time.

"We are awed by the flexibility and resilience this year's graduates have shown as our university community adapted to the realities of COVID-19. The Virtual Commencement is our way of honoring them and their accomplishments, which are all the more impressive in this challenging time," according to a press release from the school.

Of course, any graduate that wants to walk in-person when it is safe to do so will be allowed to walk in any future ceremony of their choosing, the school says.