RED BAY, Ala. (WTVA) -- For students who may be spending part of their school year recovering at the hospital from an accident or recovering from an illness, it's not just the daily class work these students miss.
These students are missing moments with their friends.
However, through the Health Occupations Students of America, or HOSA, students from Red Bay, Alabama, High School are developing an innovation to change that.
Brooke Shotts is a sophomore at Red Bay. She is just one of the four team members who helped design the tele-presence robot.
"We help students who can't be at school be present with this robot," Shotts explained.
"You can call in on Facetime and see the room that you are in," freshman Camron Burks explained.
It's part of HOSA, which stands for for Health Occupations Students of America, an organization for future health professionals.
Once the students had the idea, it took a little ingenuity.
Kay Hargrett is an instructor at Red Bay High School and HOSA advisor.
"So they got PVC pipe. We had a robot that was donated, and we already had an iPad in our classroom. So we only have $70 invested in this today," Hargrett said.
While a remote currently directs the robot, students are designing an app.
"The app will let them use it from home instead of someone here driving it around and control it from here," Burks said.
The tele-presence project placed first at a recent competition at the University of North Alabama where students won a $500 reward. The project also was recognized as the first place winner in innovation at the state HOSA level.
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