High school robotics team builds ‘power wheelchair’ for 2-year-old boy who can’t walk
A group of students from a high school robotics team in Minnesota, United States got to work to build a power wheelchair for a 2-year-old boy who cannot walk.
Two-year-old Cillian Jackson was born with a genetic condition that makes moving around difficult, as per KARE 11 on March 31. When Cillian’s parents realized buying a power wheelchair would be too expensive and won’t be covered by insurance, they decided to turn to a high school robotics team for help instead.
“These kids took time out of their busy schedules to do this for our son,” Krissy Jackson, Cillian’s mother, said in the report. “We’re so grateful.”
Krissy’s wife, Tyler, was the one who reached out to the robotics team of Farmington High School, where he is an alumnus. And Tyler made no mistake in reaching out to the team, as they accepted the request with no second thoughts despite their schedule.
“I brought it up to the kids at a meeting, ‘is this something we want to step up and do?’” Spencer Elvebak, the robotics’ team’s coach, said in the report. His question was met with a resounding “yes!”
Cillian’s power wheelchair was hand-built by the students from a Power Wheels riding toy. They replaced its electrical components, mounted a bicycle seat on the toy car as well as a customized joystick for Cillian, as per report. The students also asked help from the University of Delaware’s “GOBABYGO!” program which helps children with disabilities, but for the most part, the students used their skills they learned from building competition robots throughout the years.
Cillian’s wheelchair was unveiled last December 2018 by the robotics team via their Facebook page. In their video, Cillian can be seen trying out his ride as the team and his parents watched on.
“Our secret is out! For the past few weeks our team dedicated themselves to make a wheel chair for Cillian,” the Rogue Robotics stated then. “We’d like to give a special thank you to Cillian’s parents for reaching out to us and giving us such an amazing opportunity!”
Cillian has since returned to the high school with his power wheelchair to reunite with the students of the robotics team. Cody Cepeda/JB
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