IDPP and its founding organization, COTELCO, have long focused on understanding the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in fostering inclusion for persons with disabilities. In recent years, we have focused our attention on including persons with disabilities in global governance processes. Accessible webconferencing has been one of our key technologies to participate in distributed collaborative activities. However, over the past two years, we have started exploring the role telepresence robots can have on enabling access to physical locations, including UN conferences, meetings, and events.
"Ally" our robot
After we received the invitation from UNISDR to partner with them on a study exploring the use of telepresence robots to enable remote participation for the global disability community, we started preparing "Ally".
GP2017 - Mexico
The major part of our study was focused on comparing web conferencing with robots to achieve the goals of both UNISDR and the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (DiDRRN).
COSP-10 UN HQ, NYC
Following the success of our work in Cancun at GP2017, we pursued an opportunity to extend the study to UN headquarters in New York City. As far as we know, this was the first time for robots at UN HQ.