Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Robotics Students Build a Robot Locker for Special Needs Peer

"A student with muscular dystrophy could not open his own school locker, so two robotics students stepped up to build an automated opener to give him a hand.

Pinckney Community High School in Pinckney, Mich., is the site of a robotics experiment gone very, very right. Junior Nick Torrance has muscular dystrophy. He uses a wheelchair to get around, but the muscle disease makes it difficult to handle simple activities, like opening up his locker.

The robotics project has taken the better part of the school year to design, build, test, and refine.

The initial use of a key fob proved to be too difficult to activate, so now the automated locker door opener is triggered by a wave of Torrance's hand over a sensor. Another wave closes the door.

Torrance has a student who helps him carry his books and supplies, but the locker door is now a task he can accomplish on his own.

The door opener may soon be available to other special-needs students. Stuhldreher and Smrcka won a $1,500 grant from the Society of American Military Engineers to create more of the devices.

The high school already has a top-notch robotics class. Seniors Micah Stuhldreher and Wyatt Smrcka won the 2012 SkillsUSA national robotics competition, so they were a natural choice to tackle the locker door problem with a robotics solution.

Read the full article at its source:

Student Focus Question(s): Who do you feel got the most benefit from this project, Nick - the physically challenged student or his classmates who designed and built the robot locker? Why? What other things do you think students might design to help their classmates in situations like this?

After thinking about this, you can enter your response using the "Comments" function, below (to the left of the envelope icon). Feel free to identify your school and/or class....

Click on book cover for information on Getting Started with LEGO Robotics.

Anyone who works with kids can do LEGO Robotics, a rich and highly motivating platform for important STEM Learning! (surprisingly affordable, too) This books explains it all!

Check out ROBOTICS for TEACHERS Podcast

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