Everton fan Jack McLinden became football’s first remote mascot thanks to an innovative robot that allowed him to experience being on the pitch with the players.
The 14-year-old, who has multiple health conditions, was able to make use of a telepresence robot called AV1 which is designed to help those with long-term illnesses who can’t leave their homes.
The robot was carried onto the pitch by Everton captain Phil Jagielka for Monday’s game against Newcastle.
As Jagielka walked onto the pitch with AV1, Jack was then able to use the robot’s panoramic cameras and microphone to see and hear everything on an iPad back at home.
The robot was then placed at the side of the pitch giving Jack an unparalleled view of the game and finally at half-time the robot was placed in the centre of the pitch at which point the stadium played his favourite song “On top of the World” by Imagine Dragons.
The robot was designed by Norwegian firm No Isolation and includes a high definition camera and microphone that allows the user to see what’s around them.
Designed primarily for classrooms the robot can be moved left and right and has additional features including the ability to virtually “raise your hand” in class thanks to a flashing light at the top of its head.
If the user isn’t feeling like they want to participate they can even activate a quiet mode which lets the teacher know they don’t feel up to answering any questions.
To help a person socialise with their classmates the robot also includes a special whisper mode which keeps the speaker volume low so that only the child sat next to you can hear what you’re saying.