I am trying to think of future possible science fictional or realistic scenarios where virtual presence of monks for ordination could be regarded as valid. I thought it should be easy to think of a scenario, but they all have valid objections to reply to that.
Say if the world becomes like the surrogates as in the 2009 movie, where real flesh and blood body goes online to control robot bodies, and robot bodies are the ones travelling around, playing etc. The monastic community would not allow robot bodies to ordain or monks to simply go immerse inside robot body, human body would still be used for the training, practise, ordination.
For say majority of humans can upload their minds into robot bodies, having no need for flesh and blood bodies, the ordination criterion for one to be a human to ordain would disqualify such uploaded humans to ordain as they are now posthuman. So some dedicated group of lay Buddhists may still choose to remain human until they have kids to allow the kids to have a chance to decide if they wish to ordain or become a robot or help produce the next generation of Buddhist.
Or if there’s a major apocalypse, the internet still survives, but monks are scattered around, too little to ordain people in many places, no more plane, ship, train, car travel, etc. It’s not too different from ancient India, monks still have to walk to another place to produce that place’s new monks.
Also, if people just take pandemic lockdown to validate online ordination, most monastic community wouldn’t recognize such ordination and the person would have to re-ordain when lockdown ends.
The vinaya rules for ordination is amazingly future proof.