Stanford coach David Shaw was 2,300 miles away from campus in a Hawaii hotel room Thursday when he rolled into an offensive meeting being conducted by offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren.
Using a Beam Pro robot designed by Stanford graduate Scott Hassan's company, Suitable Technologies, Shaw was able to watch, listen and communicate with everyone in the room.
"There were some surprised looks and a couple conversations about [the robot], but it quickly turned from novelty to asset," said Shaw, who was attending a coaches event as the guest of Nike founder Phil Knight with several other coaches from Nike-sponsored schools.
Shaw logged into a program from his laptop and controlled the robot's movements with arrow keys on the keyboard. The volume from the robot can be turned up and down, the camera zooms in and out and it's something he says will be a fixture in the athletic department moving forward.
"I'm going to talk to [athletic director] Bernard [Muir] as soon as I get back," he said.
When the meeting was over, Shaw rolled down the hall greeting people in the football offices.
"It was like I was really there for an hour and a half and when I logged out, I was back in Hawaii," he said.
Shaw was already familiar with Hassan and the technology, but credits his wife, Kori, for coming up with the idea to utilize it.
"She said 'Wouldn't it be cool if you used one of Scott's robots when you were out of town?'" Shaw said. "That started the ball rolling. Thankfully it took Scott and Stanford University a day and a half to get it all set up."
Only a select few people knew what was in the works before he arrived in the meeting, one of whom was Bloomgren.
Stanford football posted a few pictures and videos to its Twitter and Vine accounts Thursday.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) February 21, 2014