Robot takes children beyond hospital walls and behind the scenes - KCTV5

Robot takes children beyond hospital walls and behind the scenes at Children's Mercy Park

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Kids don’t just get to watch the players, but can ask them questions and get a true behind the scenes experience. (Children's Mercy Hospital) Kids don’t just get to watch the players, but can ask them questions and get a true behind the scenes experience. (Children's Mercy Hospital)
Kids in the hospital were able to control REX through an iPad and send it to the sidelines, allowing them to get closer to the field than any ticketed fans. (Children's Mercy Hospital) Kids in the hospital were able to control REX through an iPad and send it to the sidelines, allowing them to get closer to the field than any ticketed fans. (Children's Mercy Hospital)
REX's debut happened at the May 17, match between Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders. (Children's Mercy Hospital) REX's debut happened at the May 17, match between Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders. (Children's Mercy Hospital)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

With Sporting Kansas City’s success during the 2017 season, fans everywhere are trying to get to Children’s Mercy Park to catch the team in action.

But for kids who are sick and in the hospital, heading to a game is often impossible. Until now.

Now, a new technology is helping kids get a one of a kind view of their favorite players in action.

Children’s Mercy Hospital is about 15 miles from the park, but inside the hospital walls, children are getting some of the best seats in the game. And it’s all through the use of a special robot.

REX is a robot, introduced by the hospital in 2016 to help kids explore other parts of the hospital when they are unable to leave their bedrooms.

The robot helps patients who are in isolation.

But now, REX is making its way outside the walls of Children's Mercy Hospital and into Children's Mercy Park.

His big debut happened at the May 17, match between Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders.

Kids in the hospital were able to control REX through an iPad and send it to the sidelines, allowing them to get closer to the field than any ticketed fans.

John Baker, the Senior Analyst of Telemedicine at Children's Mercy Hospital, says since kids are masters of videogames, they quickly catch on with REX.

"It’s just so easy to use and so simple and that’s what’s impressed me about it," Baker said.

"Yeah, like after I took my first round of going around, I got the hang of it pretty quick,” Children’s Mercy Hospital patient Landon Gray said.

REX stands for remote experience. And that's just what it gives the kids at the hospital.

Kids don’t just get to watch the players, but can ask them questions and get a true behind the scenes experience.

"Giving them the opportunity to engage in some normal play and be a kid again is huge," child life specialist Jenna Simpson said.

REX will be at Children’s Mercy Park on June 3. The robot will be at one game every month for the rest of the 2017 season.

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