Teenagers build robotic locker opener for disabled student

Credit: Gillis Benedict/Daily Press & Argus

Nick Torrance is a junior at Pinckney Community High School who suffers from muscular dystrophy. He uses a wheelchair to get around, but the disability makes it hard for him to do certain things, like open his locker door.

Fortunately, Pinckney is known for its robotics program and fellow high schoolers, Micah Stuhldreher and Wyatt Smrcka, used the available resources to make an automatic locker opener for Torrance. Now, instead of relying on someone else for help, Torrance just waves his hand over a sensor on his wheelchair and voila, the locker opens.

The project began when an occupational therapist from the Livingston Educational Service Agency approached Pinckney robotics teacher Sean Hickman. He assigned the project to Stuhldreher and Smrcka, who both won the 2012 SkillsUSA national robotics competition. It took the high school seniors months to find something that worked for Torrance, but their efforts helped a fellow student navigate the hallways a bit more easily.

Via Livingston Daily

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