Robotics Team adapts car to get younger students rolling

Posted: March 10, 2020

The Menchville Robotics Team and the Assistive Technology Resource Center collaborated to provide two adapted power cars to the classrooms that support students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities at Kiln Creek Elementary School. One car was adapted with three switches: one to move the car forward and the other two switches to play the radio and honk the horn. The other car was adapted with a joy stick.

The inspiration for this project comes from the Go Baby Go Project out of the University of Delaware. The cars give students with physical and intellectual disability the power of mobility to explore their environments.

Students on the robotics team adapted the cars and were excited to help students in their own district. The Kiln Creek students were equally excited to drive their shiny red Mercedes and neon green Jeep down the hall to the cheers of their teachers.

A doctoral student in the VCU occupational therapy program coordinated the adaptation of the cars with the robotics team as a community service project. She is creating a system for surrounding school divisions to request similar collaborations.

Donna Waldman, assistive technology coordinator, completed an informational session for the team in November to demonstrate how switches and environmental controls work and the importance of these controls to students who have physical and cognitive disabilities.