This is an extremely positive story from Pinckney Community High School where an occupational therapist (Amy Uphouse), a robotics teacher (Sean Hickman), and two senior students (Micah Stuhldreher and Wyatt Smrcka) collaborated on a project to help out Nick Torrance, a student with muscular dystrophy. Using an iterative process, Micah and Wyatt tried several designs for a robotic locker-opener, and finally arrived on a solution where Nick is able to access his locker by moving his hand near a sensor. Micah and Wyatt won awards at a SkillsUSA robotics competition last year and are competing this year as well.
This is a really nice small scale project that can make a big impact on the lives of folks with disabilities. I love that the school worked with their students to create a novel solution to a challenging problem, rather than either pursuing an expensive commercial option or declaring the problem to be impossible. It was also nice to see that the students had the freedom to try out different designs and learn from their mistakes, which created an innovation-friendly atmosphere. A nice job by everyone.