This 2-year-old boy was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder which prevents him from walking. He needed a specialized electric wheelchair which his parents’ insurance couldn’t cover.
Therefore, a high school robotics team stepped in and build him one.
The team from Minnesota Farmington High School built a custom electric wheelchair for Cillian Jackson with help from the GoBabyGo program by the University of Delaware.
This program specializes in making customs for children who have limited mobility.
High School Robotics Team Builds a Specialized Electric Wheelchair for 2-Year-Old
With models and plans they got from the GoBabyGo program, the Rogue Robotics Team made Jackson an electric wheelchair by converting a Power Wheels toy car originally intended for yard play.
Jackson’s parents provided the robotics team with the Power Wheels toy car and the team quickly hacked and redesigned it to suit the toddler’s special needs.
Namely, they hacked the electronics, made changes in the steering, and customized the seat.
They also planned to compete in a state competition to show some of the skills they used while making this custom chair.
How Much Time Did the Team Need to Build the Wheelchair?
The coach of the robotics team, Spencer Elvebak, explained it took them several weeks of work after school to create this amazing assisting wheelchair.
Thanks to the GoBabyGo, they had great resources; however, they had to make quite a few customizations to adjust the chair for the specific needs of the toddler.
Just before Christmas, the team donated the car to Jackson. His parents, Krissy and Tyler, said this wheelchair changed everything about how Cillian is getting around.
His dad explains that when he gets into the car, he consciously stops and looks at a light switch or a doorknob or all of these new things he previously couldn’t explore.
His parents also said they’re planning to have the boy use the wheelchair until he enrols in school because he will need a motorized wheelchair then.
They’re hopeful that they’ll qualify for it to be covered by the insurance.