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Santa uses robot to visit Bronson Children's Hospital

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Posted at 10:43 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 22:43:00-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The man in red made the rounds at Bronson Children's Hospital Wednesday with a little help from his elves.

Despite pandemic protocols, Santa was able to bring smiles to faces spending Christmas far from home.

Santa remotely visiting patients at Bronson Children's Hospital

The technology was originally intended to help kids keep up with class during a hospital stay, but the pandemic had the elves thinking on their curly-toed feet.

One visit made a little girl smile for the first time all day. She told the staff at Bronson she thinks the visit will help her feel better.

SEE MORE: Santa makes time to visit his friends at Helen DeVos

Santa makes virtual visits to Bronson Children's Hospital

“During the pandemic, we’ve had to be creative and find ways to still offer therapeutic programming for our pediatric patients,” says child life specialist Wendy Kellogg. “It was wonderful to give our patients this chance to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. We know children are comfortable with seeing people on screens, but having the robot here made this a unique experience. It was heartwarming to see all the smiles it brought to our patients and staff.”

Santa "robot's" elves helping him navigate halls at Bronson Children's Hospital

Mr. and Mrs. Claus navigated the halls using a tablet and mobile stand funded by the Bronson Health Foundation, the robot is called the Bronson Robotics Interface for Teaching and Engagement, or BRITE.

Santa and Mrs. Claus at Bronson Children's Hospital
BRITE helping Santa bring smiles to Bronson Children's Hospital
Santa's elves helping him navigate the halls
Reindeer helping guide Santa through Bronson Children's Hospital
First visit with Santa and already using more tech than the parents...
Santa and Mrs. Claus making virtual stops at Bronson Children's Hospital

SEE MORE: Santa Claus does virtual visits with sick children at Mott Children's Hospital