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"Cooper" Comes to Campus

Emily Ciesynski ’19, Blaine, with telepresence robot “Cooper” outside the UMN Morris Student Center.
Jenna Ray
Publication date: 
January 10, 2019
  • A telepresence robot could allow UMN Morris students, faculty, and staff to attend class and meetings remotely.
  • A simple internet connection allows users to navigate from any location worldwide.
  • It's part of ongoing University efforts to innovate in the liberal arts.

Imagine being able to attend a class, lecture, field trip, meeting, or group discussion no matter where you are. A new telepresence robot could do that and more for University of Minnesota Morris students, faculty, and staff. It's part of ongoing campus efforts to innovate through the liberal arts.

The robot, fondly dubbed "Cooper," provides a remote user with the opportunity to be anywhere it is, offering users more independence to engage in campus life. All you need is an internet connection to control the robot from any location worldwide.

"This is exciting technology with significant potential," says IT Director Bill Zimmerman. "Overall, it has exceeded our expectations for usability."

"Cooper" was procured as a pilot, a minimal investment Zimmerman says allowed the campus community to explore "cutting-edge technology that can enhance the academic experience at UMN Morris."

The telepresence robot was available for testing through Friday, January 4. To learn more, visit