Coyotes’ Jordan Oesterle uses robot to visit Phoenix Children’s Hospital
May 20, 2020, 8:56 AM
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) May 18, 2020
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jordan Oesterle was still able to make a visit to Phoenix Children’s Hospital despite the coronavirus pandemic requiring social distancing.
Oesterle, who is currently in Michigan, appeared at the hospital via a video feed. A monitor and webcam were placed on top of a mobile robot, which Oesterle could control using the arrow keys on his laptop from afar.
“It was pretty interesting. We got to be on like a robot that I wasn’t very good at driving around. I was running into walls and stuff,” Oesterle said. “But it was pretty sweet to see the technology that they have to still be able to visit the kids at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and still interact. So it was definitely a cool experience and I’ve never done any of those robot things.”
The 27-year-old defenseman interacted with kids in The Zone, an area of the hospital that features games, entertainment and other amenities.
“We know with the Coyotes Foundation, we always like to give back to the community and we’re really involved with Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” Oesterle said. “So with the circumstances we’re in right now to still be able to interact with the kids and play games and visit rooms, it’s a cool experience and it’s something that I was grateful that I was able to get the chance to do.”
During his visit, Oesterle and the kids played a hockey trivia game and prizes included stickers and pucks.
“The robot face had a camera so I could spin around and see the room that I was in and almost like I was the robot,” Oesterle said. “We played like a Wheel of Fortune hockey trivia game. So I kind of helped the kids if they didn’t know the answers and then after we played the game, I was able to try to drive the robot around and deliver some of the prizes that the kids won during the games, and then I got to interact with a couple of kids in their rooms and hang out for a couple minutes and bring us back to some type of normal.”
The robot experience itself was a treat for kids, Oesterle said, as some got a laugh from him spinning in circles with the device.
“Just as if I was walking in, maybe a little bit more smiles than if you’re walking in … physically,” he said. “It’s just kind of a cool experience even for them to see this robot and my face, and a Coyotes shirt on trying to drive in there but hitting a couple things. But it was a cool experience for them, too, and it was just fun to have a little bit more time than they normally do to hang out with them and talk.”