There’s a high school near Minneapolis called Farmington High that has a pretty cool robotics program.
Kids can sign up for the robotics team, and enter competitions. It’s less about battle-bots, and more about robots that complete specific tasks. But they recently took on an even cooler project . . .
There’s a two-year-old kid in their town named Cillian Jackson, with a rare genetic condition that makes it hard to get around. His symptoms are similar to what you’d see with cerebral palsy.
Anyway, his parents wanted to get him an electric wheelchair. But they cost thousands of dollars, and insurance wouldn’t cover it. So the robotics team stepped in to help.
They bought a regular Power Wheels toy, and modified it . . . replaced all the electronics . . . added a better seat . . . and used a 3D printer to make a joystick he could use to control it.
Whenever they needed help, they got advice from a team of engineers at the University of Delaware. But they basically did the whole thing on their own, and finished it about four months ago. But Cillian and his parents just visited the school last week.
One of the kids who helped build it said winning competitions is one thing. But helping Cillian felt like an even bigger win.