ATA 2017 Get Ready, Here We Come!

deb-on-kubiDr. Deborah A. Jeffries (Dr. Deb)
Director of Healthcare, Revolve Robotics
Dr. Deb uses her 25 years in medicine, patient care, education, physics, telemedicine, and information systems to assist customers

It’s time for the annual meeting of the ATA (American Telemedicine Association)! I think this will be my 15th ATA event? I am really looking forward to the show this year (last year I attended virtually… thanks Kubi). It is a great place to join old friends, catch up on the latest in telehealth, make new acquaintances, and get hands on with new technology and solutions.

I will be attending with Kubi Health in Booth #725. As many of you know, Kubi enables cloud-based video using tablets providing pan/tilt control at a very affordable price point. We will be highlighting Kubi Health for use in hospice, sub-acute care, and multidisciplinary telehealth models. But of course, you can take a look at Kubi to support any of your tablet-based telehealth applications.

Check out Kubi being used with partner software for an in-home application:

The video gives you a good feel for the size and flexibility of Kubi in a live setting. You can see Kubi interacting with an elderly patient, observing a care giver assisting a patient, and how Kubi allows you to bring in a distanct expert to assist an onsite provider.

Many of you may be familiar with the ‘Sit Down Consultation’ sessions I have scheduled at ATA in the past. It’s a great way to make sure that when you stop by the booth, I will be able to sit down and spend some time together without waiting around. To reserve time on my ATA calendar, click here!

Live specialists will Kubi into the booth at ATA to discuss hospice and sub-acute care. Stay tuned for details and times.

Finally, a heads up, in the coming weeks we will be hosting a webinar on hospice and sub-acute care. I hope you can join, share your stories, and hear from some of our clients. Invites will follow shortly.

I look forward to spending time together at ATA and learning more about your programs and ways in which we can help!

Be well,

Dr. Deb

Kubi Telepresence Robots for Connected Teaching and Learning

On February 1, 2017, we were joined by Kubi Telepresence Robot users from Michigan State University (MSU), University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), Drexel University, and the US Distance Learning Association (USDLA) to discuss how they are using Kubis for distance learning and connected teaching and learning at their universities.

Watch the live recording of the webinar.

We start with discussing with William Cain to discuss his recent results in MSU’s design study of using Kubi for Hybrid Synchronous Courses for online learning.  Read more about the design study here.

Second, we were joined by Giorgio Corda, an Instructor in the Italian and French Department at CU Boulder who teaches in classes that have students attend via Kubi.  He provides his experience with using Kubi in his classes and presents some results of their pilots.  See the published results of their initial pilots here

In addition to Giorgio’s pilots, to Jean Bouchard from the CU Boulder’s Modified Foreign Language Program has piloted Kubis.  See a short video about their pilots here.

Our third guest was Elizabeth Hassrick from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

We concluded with introducing our Kubi Complete Packages and our new Kubi Quick App.

Contact us to schedule a demo or to learn more

Kubi Tuesday: Michigan State University Releases Study on Impact of Implementing Robotic Telepresence for Online Learning

marcikubiKubi Tuesday Series by
Marci Powell
Sr. Education Consultant, Revolve Robotics
USDLA Chair Emerita and Past President

Robots in the classroom?  What about robots controlled by a virtually remote student through video conferencing?  This is called “Robotic telepresence.” The true question should be around how the various contexts of implementing robotic telepresence can impact the student’s experience.

“Discernible Attention”

A very interesting phrase Michigan State University used in a design study just released in the latest issue of International Journal of Designs in Learning caught my attention. They frame one of the best outcomes of the study around “discernible attention.”  Giving the remote student the ability to control their presence in the classroom increases interaction with their instructor and fellow students.

Michigan State University and the CEPSE/COE Design Studio team, John Bell, William Cain, Amy Peterson, and Cui Cheng, share their findings from an extensive study covering the integration of robotic telepresence devices in synchronous learning environments.  

The team examines taking online students off of fixed, wall-based monitors and putting them in among those physically present.  Using the Kubi desktop and rollabout Double robots completely change the dynamics of the blended or hybrid learning environment.

MSU Hybrid Learning with Kubi Telepresence RobotsFIGURE 6. Autonomous 2.5 / 3D Telepresence approach using Kubi and Double robotic telepresence devices.

The design study centers around various scenarios of a blended or hybrid classroom. They take a look at what type of experience is provided to students who attend class through one of two modalities; face-to-face or online through video conference.

The focus then turns to the online students experiences with and without robotic telepresence and even more specifically the difference in types of robots used.

In the study you will find the results as they compare and contrast  the following modalities:  

Screenshot 2017-01-23 22.28.50
TABLE 1. Number of participants in data collection. NOTE. There was overlap in two courses across these models.

According to the study, “Students also continued to be enthusiastic about the “discernible attention” benefit of 2.5D Telepresence. That is when the instructor turned to look at a student, that student was certain that he or she was the focus of the instructor’s attention. We believe that awareness of attention was an important contributor to the students’ report that their relationship with the instructor grew more with the use of 2.5D Telepresence than with the 2D approach.” Discernible attention is a valuable finding.  In a traditional video conferencing setup, the students are stuck on a monitor on the wall. Held in a fix position without a way to physically give and acknowledge attention in the classroom, , students  can often be “forgotten” by the instructor.  Being present in class on a robot changes the dynamics of the class.  

When the remote student makes the robot move, as is the case with the Kubi (which means neck in Japanese), the turning of their head on the device can give and direct  non-disruptive attention to both  the instructor and other students.  

Screenshot 2017-01-23 22.32.18
FIGURE 4. Autonomous 2.5D Telepresence approach using Kubi (device shown on the right).

For example, they  can easily let the instructor know they want to interject or that they agree/disagree. Students can also adjust their Kubi  to simply remind others  of their presence and thus draws their attention. Sitting among the other students enables them to turn and easily participate in classroom discussions.  This type of “discernible attention” creates a much more engaging environment for all.


It is interesting to see how each context or scenario the design team covered plays out as they share successes and failures with each implementation.   

For example, simple things like the difference between how the tablet is set (in either portrait or landscape) can impact learning.  In the study, the Kubi, which allows for landscape display, provides a wider viewing range and thus makes students more comfortable than the narrower more constraining view of a portrait layout on the Double.

Michigan State University (MSU) has done an outstanding job with this study. Take a moment to read of the results in their whitepaper, From 2D to Kubi to Doubles: Designs for Student Telepresence in Synchronous Hybrid Classrooms.

It’s exciting to see how robotic telepresence is being applied to teaching and learning, whether integrating the technology to solve challenges in online learning in order to increase accessibility for different student populations,  drive course completion or to better serve remote students by giving the virtual student a “controllable presence” in a shared learning environment.

Thank you to Michigan State University for sharing the results of a well-defined design study. Read about the study IJDL | 2016 | Volume 7, Issue 3 | Pages 19-33.