BESSEMER (KDKA) – With the help of a three-foot tall robot, seventh grader Cris Colalula can finally return to school.

Colalula was born was Spina Bifida and has been unable to participate in class since he began having seizures more than five years ago.

Thanks to the robot V-Go, he can virtually return to the halls and classrooms at Mohawk Junior High in Bessemer.

V-Go is remotely operated by Colalula from his home down the road and is equipped with a webcam that displays his face on a screen, allowing him to interact with both teachers and students.

“Changed my life,” Chris says. “Helped me interact with kids. And now that I have it, I won’t miss any more school time.”

Theresa McConnell, the school’s technology coordinator, paved the way for what she calls the “steady webcam.”

“Students were very excited to see Cris in the classroom,” she recalls. “It was an awe moment the first day, then the second day it was like he’d been there all along.”

Mohawk School District
Spina Bifida