High School Robotics Team Improves 2-Year-Old’s Quality of Life
A High School robotics team in Farmington, MN recently made a little boy’s dream come true.
The parents of 2-year-old Cillian Jackson are grateful and happy that they reached out to the robotics team with a rather unusual request. Cillian was in need of a motorized wheelchair.
Born with a genetic condition, mobility is difficult for him. The cost of purchasing a power wheelchair for the toddler would be sky high, and most likely not covered by insurance, due to Cillian’s young age.
The robotics team took on the challenge without hesitation, according to their coach, Spence Elvebak. “I brought it up to the kids at a meeting, ‘Is this something we want to step up and do?’” Elvebak recalled. The students immediately obliged.
The team completely reworked a Power Wheels toy, added a bicycle carrier seat, and designed a control mechanism with a 3D printer. They received technical advice from GOBABYGO for the project, a program that helps give mobility to children with disabilities.
The project was a success. Cillian finally had a new set of wheels! According to his Mom, Cillian took to his ride immediately. Look at him go:
High School robotics teams have become very popular all over the country in recent years. Being a member of a team gives kids a chance to combine the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.
Back in December, two different robots (5150J and 5150G) from the Danbury High School robotics team made their way into the quarterfinals and semifinals, qualifying them for the Southern New England Regionals.
In other areas of Connecticut, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams, the Connecticut Association of Schools in partnership with NE FIRST, host an annual High School State Championship. Last year, thirty-five high school teams from across the state competed in the championship. After qualification rounds, the CyberKnights from Southington High School ranked 1st and selected the Elm City Robo-Squad from Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven and Aces High from Windsor Locks and Suffield to be part of its alliance. The three-team grouping ended up winning the state championship.