“Toy Car” for children with reduced mobility | KSNF/KODE

PITTSBURG, Kansas. — Some mechanical engineering students at Pittsburg State have spent the last year working on a toy car for children with reduced mobility. On Friday, the Pittsburgh community got their first glimpse of the prototype.

“These kids kind of need something childish, toy-like to excite their minds. It’s something that would take two or three years to refine, so we’re on a short timeline. Christian Schultz, PSU senior mechanical engineering.

On Friday, students from across Pittsburg State University’s mechanical engineering department presented their high-level projects to the industry advisory board. Five of these students were approached by the non-profit organization “Geeks For Kids”.

“They build mobility vehicles for children with reduced mobility. They were originally using an off-the-shelf vehicle, but there is a possible disruption, so they asked us, the Pitt State undergraduate team, to design a chassis and powertrain for them,” Shultz said. “We kind of based our design on a small lunar rover, but adapted it to hopefully fit a child.

Over the past year, Schultz and his team have created this prototype toy car.

The new design hopes to help the nonprofit reduce costs that many families face.

“Wheelchairs you buy off the shelf are extremely expensive, probably starting at a base cost of $3,000 and going up to $10,000-20,000, so there are a lot of kids living in hospitals or who live in homes with movement disorders, whose parents cannot afford a wheelchair,” he added.

The team’s work is not finished. They will showcase the prototype at a Geeks For Kids event in Kansas City in early June.

“They will refine our design, change some materials. They are planning to take our design and they are going to send it to a welding shop and a few other places and see how easily they can make it. They actually plan to donate it to a child,” Shultz said. “They need it to learn about their environment and grow in their environment.

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