Title:Museum at your fingertips: telepresence tours for schools
Authors:Julia Falkowski
Publication:Museums and the Web 2017: Selected Papers and Proceedings from an International Conference
Editors:Nancy Proctor and Rich Cherry
Publisher:Museums and the Web LLC
Published:Silver Spring

How can museums use technology to create uniquely human experiences? This paper looks at the value of telepresence robots (remote-controlled devices equipped with cameras, microphones, loudspeakers, and screens displaying live video of its pilot’s face) to increase access to museum spaces. We focus on the IMLS Sparks grant-funded project "Museum at Your Fingertips," a partnership between Balboa Park Online Collaborative and San Diego Air and Space Museum testing the ability of a telepresence robot, the BeamPro by Suitable Technologies, to provide meaningful and engaging remote tours to classrooms that lack resources to visit museums in person. The successes and challenges provide lessons about using this technology in the future.