High School Robotics Club Builds Electric Wheelchair for Child in Need

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Cillian Jackson in his new wheelchair
Cillian Jackson in his new wheelchair

Farmington, Minn. — A Minnesota high school robotics club recently built what is certainly its greatest project to date. In fact, it has already changed a 2-year-old boy’s life. The “Rogue Robotics Team” from Farmington, Minnesota built a special electronic wheelchair for a young boy named Cillian Jackson. Cillian needs the wheelchair due to a rare genetic condition that prevents him from walking on his own. The Jackson family’s insurance balked at the $20,000 price tag for a similar wheelchair, leaving Cillian without a way to get around.

The family decided to reach out to the Rogue Robotics Team. The University of Delaware’s GoBabyGo program, which creates custom vehicles for children with limited mobility, helped the high schoolers with this important project.

“I would say [it took] a couple of weeks working after school,” Coach Spencer Elvebak said in an interview with 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 was able to give Cillian’s family this incredible gift just before Christmas. The family recently posted a video on Facebook of the 2-year-old moving around in the special wheelchair for the very first time. “Our secret is out! For the past few weeks our team dedicated themselves to make a wheel chair for Cillian,” wrote Rouge Robotics on Facebook. “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!”

Rouge Robotics will compete in the Minnesota robotics state championships next month.

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