May 1, 2017

Never miss a class — attend remotely via robot

W. P. Carey School of Business offers interactive robots from MBA students
TEMPE, Ariz. (May 24, 2017) – Getting your MBA at Arizona State University just got more accessible. If you can’t avoid missing class, new robots will allow students to attend remotely.

Already the highest ranked part-time MBA in the state, the W. P. Carey Professional Flex MBA is committed to supporting student success by offering the latest in innovative technology for today’s working professional.

Starting this fall, three interactive robots nicknamed Carey, Sparky, and Gizmo will be wheeled out in MBA classrooms. A rolling stand that holds a tablet will allow students to actively participate in class without being present on campus. Students will be able to see, hear and interact with their professor and classmates using the tablet’s microphone and camera.

The robot —with the student’s face on-screen — can maneuver around the classroom, pan, tilt and drive in any direction without help from others. From their personal computer, tablet, even their iPhone, remote students can position themselves using their keyboard to see the lesson board and their professor so they never fall behind on coursework.

The technology, designed by Double Robotics, is small and simple to use, and won’t disrupt the learning experience for others.

"Working professionals make a huge commitment when they return to school, so we want to give them every opportunity to succeed, whether that means having the choice of evening or online classes, or taking more time to finish your degree if that's what fits your schedule." says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School. "A technological solution that allows students to be involved in discussions and assignments — even when they can't physically be in class — means they don't have to sacrifice school for work or vice versa. It helps them stay on track in their studies and ultimately in their careers."

The robots will not replace classroom attendance; they’re intended for occasional use by students who can’t avoid missing class. Students in the Professional Flex MBA program may request the virtual learning assistant up to 10 times throughout the course of the program. Designed to align with the busy schedules of working professionals, the Professional Flex MBA can be completed in two to four years.

Nationally, the Professional Flex MBA ranks No. 33 among part-time MBA programs, a six-spot improvement from last year’s ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

The deadline to apply for the W. P Carey Professional Flex MBA is June 30, 2017.

Video available

To request b-roll video footage of the robot in use, contact ASU Senior Media Relations Officer Rebecca Ferriter at rebecca.ferriter@asu.edu.

About the W. P. Carey School of Business

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from more than 100 countries and include over 50 National Merit Scholars.

For more information, please visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu.