A robotic dog moves into the beg position in front of robotics students.

Parsons High School robotics welcomed the newest addition to its program Friday, an AI robotic dog.

Robotics teacher Bruce Rea and his students received training Friday on the different ways they can remotely operate the robotic dog.

The robot is preprogramed to make certain movements, but students were also learning how they can program it to perform actions they want it to do based on those movements.

For instance, the robotics students could program the dog to perform a dance, or cheer routine, or they could have it map the school or the grounds.

The Parsons USD 503 Board of Education approved the purchase at its regular August meeting.

The Unitree Go1 robot is a product of DEPCO, a company that has assisted PHS in the past multiple times, such as with its 3-D printing and water jet cutter software. The robot comes with full curriculum created by Stokes Educational Services, in partnership with DEPCO.

Working with the robot, students will be able to enhance their skills in coding, programming in C++ and Python. There is other Go AI software available.

Should they want to, Rea or robotics students could also work cooperatively with students in other classes using the robot. It could be integrated into everything from art to math, for a little added fun. The robot will likely find its way to visit students in the grade schools, too. The Go1 could prove to be a great recruiting tool for the robotics program. PHS is the first school in Kansas to have one of the robots.

The robot dog cost $35,000 for it and the accompanying curriculum. Five years of updates are included and a one-year warranty. The robots require little maintenance. With the Unitree Go1, spare feet are provided, as that is the only thing that seems to wear out over time.

Those interested in seeing the robot in action during the training will be able to check it out soon on Viking News.