Father Shea wanted to help his 2-year-old son Alejandro discover the world. Suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, his movements are severely limited and confined to a wheelchair. So they look into power wheelchairs, and discover the health insurance wouldn't cover one for another five years. Disgusted by this, Shea decided to go out and build one himself, allowing Alejandro to go out and explore.
Alejandro started with the purchase of an $800 adult-sized powered wheelchair from eBay, which he thoroughly modified both the size and how it's controlled. "Alejandro's toes, while quite weak, seem to respond faster to his motor intentions than his two working fingers, so I decided to focus my efforts there," Shea writes.
With this focus in mind, he began hacking the power system to create foot pedals, specifically designed for Alejandro. The son, who had no control over his movements outside of a static wheelchair, can now explore the world and move around as he pleases.
There are stories you hear about that warm your heart. It happened with Emma's 3D-printed exoskeleton, and this is definitely one of them. Rarely do you see technology fulfill its promise of aiding humanity, making situations like these all the more amazing.
And the 'Dad of the Year' award goes to...
Source: Hacking SMA