MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A high school robotics team from Minnesota built its greatest creation yet, one that has changed a 2-year-old boy’s life. Farmington Public Schools’ “Rogue Robotics Team” made an electric wheelchair for a toddler named Cillian Jackson. Cillian has a rare genetic condition that affects his mobility. Similar chairs can cost up to $20,000 and his parents’ insurance didn’t cover it.
So the family reached out to the Rogue Robotics Team. The group of high school students received help from the University of Delaware’s GoBabyGo program, which creates custom vehicles for children with limited mobility. GoBabyGo can create a mobility device that looks like a race car or a Disney princess-mobile.
“I would say [it took] a couple of weeks working after school,” Coach Spencer Elvebak, told CBS News. “The GoBabyGo program gave us some great resources to use, but we did have to make quite a few customizations to accommodate for Cillian’s specific needs,” Elvebak said.
Rogue Robotics gave Cillian’s family the gift just before Christmas and posted a video on Facebook of the 2-year-old using the chair for the first time.
“Our secret is out! For the past few weeks our team dedicated themselves to make a wheel chair for Cillian,” the team wrote on Facebook in December. “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! We’d also like to thank our mentors who helped us get it done right before the holidays! What a terrific way to end our preseason!”
Next month, the team will show off their skills at the state robotics competition, according to their website.
“Rogue Robotics was created to give students an opportunity to develop an interest in stem and other team skills,” the website reads. The team’s goal is to “spark a passion for learning, and creativity among future generations.”