High School Robotics Team Builds Special Toy Car for 2-Year-Old Who Is Unable to Walk

April 2, 2019 Updated: April 7, 2019

The students from Farmington High School are not only talented in robotics but also have a heart of gold. Their compassion was depicted when they modified a toy car to help a 2-year-old who is unable to walk.

Cillian Jackson, from Farmington, Minnesota, has a genetic condition that makes it impossible for him to get around the way most kids can. “He has an especially hard time controlling his body. He has a lot of symptoms you’d see in someone who has cerebral palsy,” Cillian’s dad, Tyler Jackson, told KARE 11.

Posted by Krissy Jackson on Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cillian’s physical therapist mentioned the program Go Baby Go to his parents, Tyler and Krissy Jackson, and they looked into it. The program provides modified rides on cars to children with disabilities, but unfortunately, this program was unavailable in Cillian’s neighborhood.  Since the cost of a motorized wheelchair is fairly expensive, they began looking for other options.

That’s when Tyler contacted the robotics team at his old school, Farmington High School, and the students took it up as a challenge.

“I brought it up to the kids at a meeting, ‘Is this something we want to step up and do?’” said school robotics coach Spencer Elvebak.

The kids were enthusiastic to help Cillian, but no less so was Elvebak, “That’s the great part of my job, to work with these kind of kids,” Elvebak added.

The teenagers set out to work and modified a Power Wheels toy car. All electrical parts of the Power Wheels were rewired and a new seat was bought from Amazon with a five-point harness to prevent Cillian from falling out.

The toy car initially came with two joysticks, one for forward and the other for backward movement, but this didn’t seem to suit the little boy. Thus, the students replaced the two joysticks with a single multi-directional one that would allow Cillian to operate it easily. Students also wrote their own code to integrate the motor with the new joystick. They then further printed a custom mount in order to make it higher for Cillian, according to CNN.

“Instead of completing a task, we’re helping change someone’s life,” said one team member, Drew Eisenzimmer.

Posted by Rogue Robotics – Farmington on Monday, April 1, 2019

“These kids took time out of their busy schedules to do this for our son,” Krissy told Kare11. “We’re so grateful.”

“This really helps him explore like he’s never been able to do before,” she further added.

In December 2018, the students presented Cillian with this new mobility device. The customized device also has a license plate with his name written on it.

As Krissy was unable to see Cillian at his therapy appointments due to work commitments, it was a truly emotional moment for her, seeing Cillian wheeling his way around with this redesigned Power Wheels toy car.

“When he’s been trialing his electric wheelchair, I haven’t seen anything like that. So to see him finally going for the first time and being independent, that was incredible. And to see all the kids around him, cheering him on, and being so happy with what they did—it was amazing,” Krissy said according to SunThisWeek.

The wheelchair 2-year-old Cillian Jackson needed costs more than $20,000. His parents couldn't afford it. Insurance…

Posted by KREM 2 News on Monday, April 1, 2019

The Farmington High School Robotics Team is renowned for winning awards, but this customized toy car means more than any award to the team of young minds. “I think we won here more than we do in our competitions,” said team member Nicole Cash.

There is one little boy in Farmington who is sure to wholeheartedly agree, and that personalized joystick is now ready for Cillian’s eager little hand.

Watch the video:

Land of 10,000 Stories: a ride for Cillian

Two-year-old Cillian Jackson needed a power wheelchair. His parents turned to an unlikely source. Teenagers. Thanks to the robotics team at Farmington High School, Cillian now has his ride.Here's the full story: https://kare11.tv/2FM2BcUBoyd Huppert's Land of 10,000 Stories

Posted by KARE 11 on Sunday, March 31, 2019