Extension to use telepresence robotics to bring Hour of Code to Sidney

Hour of Code
Nebraska 4-H professionals Brad Barker (left) and Dagen Valentine use a telepresence robot at Nebraska Innovation Studio to interact with makerspace users at the Sidney Public Library. An Hour of Code event from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 will connect makers at the two locations. (Greg Nathan/University Communication)

November 28, 2019

Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska Extension and Nebraska 4-H will use virtual reality and telepresence robotics to bring an Hour of Code event, 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, to participants at the Sidney Public Library in Sidney. 

Hour of Code is a short introduction to computer science designed to demystify “code” and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a creator. 

Two matching robots will be used to bridge the nearly 350 miles between Nebraska Innovation Campus and the Sidney Public Library. The robots live stream a feed of the activity in each location. Participants are able to interact with one another through the robots, which are driven by humans using computer controls. 

“This event is really about providing access and opportunity to those in geographically distant locations,” said Dagen Valentine, assistant extension educator. “This is a great example of how the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is present in the lives of people all across the state.”

The Sidney Public Library has served as a pilot location for extension’s rural makerspace project funded by the National Science Foundation. A makerspace is a community-oriented physical space that serves as a hub for innovators, artists and entrepreneurs. Using the robots, the knowledge and expertise found at Nebraska Innovation Studio, the makerspace at Nebraska Innovation Campus, can be shared with makerspace users in Sidney.  

The event is free and open to the public. To learn more or to register to participate, visit https://go.unl.edu/38u6.


Dagen Valentine
Assistant Extension Educator
Nebraska Extension
402-472-3027
dvalentine2@unl.edu