A 14-year-old boy with multiple health conditions was given the chance to be the mascot for a football match on Monday — by using an iPad linked to a specially-designed miniature robot.
The white device in the photo below is known as a “telepresence robot”. It was used during a match between Everton FC and Manchester City on Monday night to give Jack McLinden the chance to be the first ever “virtual matchday mascot”, according to a story on Everton’s official club website.
Here’s a close-up of the little guy:
The robot has a built-in camera, speaker and microphone. The device was linked to McLinden’s iPad, allowing him to experience everything as it happened and interact with players via the robot.
The robot was created by a Norweigan company called No Isolation, who worked with UK children’s charity WellChild to help make the event happen.
“Having the support from the amazing team at WellChild, from Esther our dedicated WellChild Nurse… means we’re never alone, isolated or without support,” Jack’s mother Michell Wignall, who also works as a WellChild ambassador, said in a statement.
“We are thrilled that, through No Isolation and Everton Football Club, Jack was able to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.”