Due to a genetic condition, Cillian Jackson, 2, can't walk. But the Minnesota boy now motors around in style, thanks to some enterprising students at his local high school.
It all started when Cillian's physical therapist told his parents about a program calledGo Baby Go, which provides modified toy cars to children with limited mobility.
They looked into it, but there wasn't a Go Baby Go chapter near the Jackson family's home in Farmington. And motorized wheelchairs can cost more than $1,000.
So the parents turned to the robotics team at Farmington High School and asked if the students would be willing to take on the project.
The students accepted the challenge. Using plans and models from Go Baby Go, they got to work, modifying a Power Wheels toy car to fit little Cillian and give him more freedom in his movements.
Cillian's parents provided the Power Wheels toy car. The students hacked it by gutting the car's electronics, redesigning the joystick and customizing the seat for Cillian, robotics coach Spencer Elvebak said.
"Everything that we've been doing for robotics competitions ... was directly relatable to this challenge," Elvebak said. "The students did the programming, they did all the wiring, they did all the work."