AV1 robots have a growing evidence base, both internationally and in the UK, for supporting pupils with physical and/or emotional health needs. AV1 allows pupils to access their school lessons remotely through telepresence technology. Previous papers, particularly in Norway and Denmark, have highlighted the growing relevance to the education field. Published in August 2023, this is one of the first UK academic research focussed on AV1.

The purpose of the present paper was to explore the views of school staff who have used the AV1 device in the UK. Semi-structured interviews were held with 10 staff members from different school settings before data were analysed thematically. Key themes related to potential for impact, opportunities/challenges, and wider socio-economic considerations. Implications are considered in relation to (1) future research and professional practice, and (2) the introduction of a proposed implementation framework to support practitioners when trialling the AV1.

Some of the key findings include:

  • The majority of staff praised AV1 Robots as a tool for improving attendance.
  • Most participants commented that AV1 Robots assisted with pupil attainment due to the device supporting their ability to continue with the mainstream curriculum.
  • School staff additionally referenced the benefits of AV1 Robots for supporting emotional wellbeing needs. Perceived benefits included improved self-esteem and confidence due to pupils contributing to lessons from the safety of their own home or pupils having a sense of control over their situation due to being in control of the AV1.
  • Participants explicitly referenced how AV1 Robots enabled pupils to remain a part of the school community. This not only included access to day-to-day lessons but also access to social contacts and friendships within school.


Matthew Fletcher, Caroline Bond & Pamela Qualter (18 Oct 2023):
Using AV1 robots to support pupils with physical and emotional health needs, Educational
Psychology in Practice, DOI: 10.1080/02667363.2023.2269082

Link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/02667363.2023.2269082