By Krystie Yandoli Posted: 05/07/2013
Whether it's dropping off textbooks between classes or grabbing their lunch, most high school students make a stop to their locker at least one point during the day -- and they probably don't think twice about the effort it takes to open it.
For Nick Torrance -- a junior at Pinckney Community High School in Pinckney, Mich. -- this simple act proved to be challenging as a result of his muscular dystrophy. But thanks to an invention made by two of his classmates, Torrance is now able to open his locker with more ease, according to the above heartwarming video from LivingstonDaily.com
Having failed to find a device on the Internet that could help Torrance and other disabled students open their lockers, occupational therapist Amy Uphouse turned to robotics teacher, Sean Hickman. Hickman in turn approached seniors Micah Stuhldreher and Wyatt Smrcka to come up with a possible solution to make Torrance's life easier and increase his independence as a student.
The two seniors, who placed first
at the SkillsUSA national robotics competition last year, designed an automatic locker opener. As a result, the Society of American Military Engineers
also gave Stuhldreher and Smrcka a $1,500 grant to create more devices like this one.
This isn't the first time high schoolers have turned to robotics for classroom problem-solving. Back in February, the Blitz Robotics Club at Conifer High School in Colo.created a robot
to help save the life of a cat named Flipper. Flipper suffered from a twisted spine, so students designed a chariot-like form of transportation for the cat to comfortably get around.
And in March, more than 50,000 students gathered from around the world to participate in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition. Click here to watch video
from their awesome robot vs. robot competitions.