Cillian Jackson, a 2-year-old, can’t walk because of a genetic condition. But the Minnesota kid now motors around in style, much because of some enterprising students at his local high school.
It all started after Cillian’s physical therapist informed his parents about a program called Go Baby Go, which offers modified toy cars to children with limited mobility.
They checked it out, but there wasn’t a Go Baby Go chapter close to the Jackson family’s home in Farmington. And motorized wheelchairs can cost over $1,000.
So the parents showed up at the robotics team at Farmington High School and inquired if the students would be wanting to take on the project.
The students accepted the task. Using strategies and models from Go Baby Go. They worked and modified a Power Wheels toy car to fit little Cillian and provide him more freedom in his movements.
Cillian’s parents gave them the Power Wheels toy car. The students hacked it by gutting the object’s electronics, remodifying the joystick and customizing the seat for Cillian, according to the robotics coach Spencer Elvebak.
“Everything that we’ve been doing for robotics competitions … was directly relatable to this task,” Elvebak stated. “The students did the programming, they did all the wiring, they did all the work.”
The modified car permits Cillian to practice for when he ultimately qualifies via insurance to get a motorized wheelchair, that he will need to attend school, his parents stated.