Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the spring graduation ceremonies in Japan have been cancelled. Meanwhile students indirectly attended the ceremony by remotely controlling avatar robots while logged on from their various homes. 

This initiative, dubbed "Newme" Developed by ANA Holdings, were dressed in graduation caps and gowns for the ceremony at the Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo 

The faces of these robots were tablets that displayed the faces of the graduates, who logged on from home and controlled the robots via their laptops. 

Robot were motored towards the podium to receive their diplomas and school staff clapped and chorused " congratulations" while the University President, Kenichi Ohmae placed the diplomas on a rack mounted on the robot’s midsection 

“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.

The university suggests that the approach could be adopted by other schools to avoid mass gatherings. 

Considering the human world, the school limited the ceremony to just four graduates so that the robots could practice social distancing amid the pandemic.


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