Sixth graders in the Philippines held a cyber graduations using remote-controlled robots — see how they did it

Photo by MARIA TAN/AFP via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.
  • A public school in the Philippines held a cyber graduation ceremony for sixth graders.
  • Remote-controlled robots wearing caps and gowns received diplomas with screens displaying students’ faces on top.
  • Graduates and their families watched through a Facebook livestream.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Graduates of the Senator Renato Compañero Cayetano Memorial Science and Technology High school will probably remember their sixth-grade graduation forever. On May 29, the school held a socially distant graduation ceremony for sixth-grade students using four robots, while families watch through a Facebook livestream.

As COVID-19 has spread around the world and closed schools and offices, people have found increasingly creative ways to connect using virtual tools.

A group of eight elementary school students held a virtual graduation ceremony in the popular game “Minecraft.” Students at the University of Pennsylvania were inspired by that ceremony, and recreated their entire campus in “Minecraft,” even holding a relay event in the virtual world.

BBT University in Japan took a similar approach to this school outside of Manila, using “Newme” robots and Zoom to let students experience a version of graduating.

Here’s how the sixth graders did it.


The graduation audience was empty, all students and family watched from their homes.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

A few teachers and administrators were there to take photos and make sure everything went smoothly.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

Prerecorded videos of each student played on tablets connected to the robots.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

A prerecorded video from the mayor was also played on a large screen.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

As students had their turn on stage, their faces were shown on the screen.

Photo by MARIA TAN/AFP via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

That screen was also used to display families’ reactions at home, like this mother.

Photo by MARIA TAN/AFP via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

Teachers pressed “play” on each video for all 179 students to cross the stage and receive diplomas.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

The robots were remote-controlled as they were guided across the stage.

Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

Folders with lists of students kept the event running as planned.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

Administrators attached diplomas to the robots’ arms, the closest thing possible to handing it to them directly.

Photo by MARIA TAN/AFP via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

The remote-controlled robots were made by the school’s Taguig Robotics Team using recycled parts.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

The robotics team has reportedly won several awards at international competitions, and used those schools to give sixth graders a chance to graduate.

Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

“We know how deeply symbolic a graduation ceremony is for graduates and their parents … this is why we came up with a program that can help them celebrate their accomplishment while respecting health standards and policies during the COVID-19 community quarantine,” Mayor Lino Cayetano said.

Photo by MARIA TAN/AFP via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

The mayor also clarified that the safety of the students was the school’s first priority.

Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesTaguig City cyber graduation.

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