A Telepresence robot is a mobile tele screen proxy that was part of a state initiative involving convicted criminals using the devices to attend community college. Greendale agreed to help beta test the program but a problem between one of the inmates and a professor caused them to lose what was to be a significant state grant. The Telepresence robot's first appearance was in the Season Six episode "Laws of Robotics & Party Rights"
In the 2015 semester of Greendale Community College, the school's chief financial officer Frankie Dart received an offer from the Colorado state Department of Corrections. They hoped to use the remote controlled devices as a way for the convicts to attend community college. Greendale agreed to beta test the robots in order to get additional funding for the school's coffers. On the first test day, Frankie activated the robots and welcomed the inmates to the school. Alongside Frankie was Dean Pelton and her fellow Save Greendale committee member Law professor Jeff Winger.
The Greendale campus was unsure of what to make of the robots which led to a few of the new students to be bullied. In Jeff Winger's class, he stopped some of his students from pestering an inmate named Willy who was using the device. Jeff came to regret that after Willy started winning the class over with his charm. The two also clashed over Jeff's teaching methods. The dislike between the two of them carried over after classes were done when later that night in the parking garage they had a confrontation. Jeff was both shocked and amused when Willy tried in vain to use his robot to push him down a flight of steps.
Jeff went to report the incident to the Dean next morning only to find Willy had beaten him to the punch by offering his own skewed take on what happened. Jeff was annoyed to learn Willy's tough guy hardened criminal persona won him favor with both the Dean and Jeff's students. When Jeff was once again approached by Willy in the parking lot he lost his cool and threw the telepresence robot down a flight of steps. The device was damaged and Pelton suspended Jeff for his actions. Later, due to his popularity Pelton decided to give Willy an honorary title of "Teacher Emeritus.” The Warden of the jail along with fellow robot convicts utilizing the robots attended the ceremony.
Wanting to make things right, Jeff crashed the ceremony using a makeshift robot created for him by Elroy. Jeff interrupted the event and apologized to Pelton for taking his job and their friendship for granted. He also criticized Willy for manipulating everyone using his criminal sob story. The Warden spoke up and revealed the he was actually innocent of his crimes and was to be released soon. Jeff taunted Willy who was now exposed as a fraud which caused the convict to launch an attack with his robot. As the fight between the two devices occurred the other teleprescence robots cheer them on. Willy managed to get the upper hand by knocking Jeff's tablet to the ground.
Dean Pelton then intervened and turned off Willy's robot ending the fight. He carried away the makeshift device over Jeff's protests and amidst the cheers of the attendees. Sometime later, a meeting of the Save Greendale Committee took place in the study room with each member using a Teleprescence robot. With the D.O.C. Program having ended, Frankie the prison was selling the devices at a discount. Her proposal to purchase them fell on deaf ears as each committee member got distracted by outside forces. When the meeting abruptly dissolved, Abed took charge and took over the other tablets. He put his face on every screen except, save for one with a janitor on it, and repeated the Blorgons catchphrase "Eradicate!"("Laws of Robotics & Party Rights").
|The teleprescence robots featured on "Community" were created by the tech company Double Robotics. They were made to provide customers with a long distance prescence at any place when they couldn't physically be there. The cost of such a device usually goes for around $2,500 dollars.