The robotics student team designs physiotherapy cars for toddlers with cerebral disorders
From Nicole Borgenicht
The award-winning X-Bots Robotics Inc. teamed up with the PPG Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club on September 11 for a pilot expansion special of its X-Bots Robotics Mobility Program at six BGC locations in California.
The X-Bots Robotics Mobility Program is a science, technology, engineering, and math (MINT) program that brings students together on a robotics team with a BGC.
Together they build specially developed physiotherapy cars for toddlers with cerebral diseases.
Elisa Avila, Executive Director of X-Bots Robotics, has led the program and public relations for more than six years.
The X-Bots Robotics Leadership MINT high school program promotes science and math learning and community service workshops.
“This workshop is designed to provide STEM lessons to students in underserved communities and to provide leadership skills to the students in the Boys & Girls Clubs we oversee,” said Avila.
The pilot expansion was launched at the following BGC locations in California: Whittier’s BGC | Pico Rivera, BGC from Cathedral City, BGC from Fontana, BGC from Malibu, BGC from Santa Monica and Santa Clarita Valley B&GC.
“For our teenagers, it’s a rare combination that creates a strong sense of pride in what they can achieve when they give back,” said Ian Keiller, chief operations officer of the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club.
The use of X-Bots Robotics is coordinated with physical and operational therapy organizations and clinics in order to select the recipients.
The Brain and Down Syndrome Organizations and Children’s Hospitals will help determine which toddler and family will receive the gift.
This program has completed over 50 car modifications, with 60 more planned during the most recent event on September 11th.
X-Bots Robotics and BGC are grateful for the donations from the PPG Foundation, which enable them to equip workshops with tools and meals to enable a smooth process when converting the free cars for the recipients.
Security measures are being taken to secure the robotic cars.
“We have implemented a series of safety and training videos and a quality assurance checklist at every step of the build, which will be reviewed through Zoom and on-site by a trained GoBabyGo supervisor,” said Avila.
“Cole Galloway is the founder of the Go Baby Go program, which helps children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities get exercise and explore the world. He is a professor of physiotherapy and psychology and brain sciences at the University of Delaware. “
One of Avila’s favorite pastimes is motivating teenagers to exceed their expectations and improving the lifestyles of toddlers with disabilities.
The program continues to inspire students in STEM education through their high school courses as well as university students whose majors have been influenced by the program.