The “Go Baby Go – Follow Me” program began at the university of Delaware in 2006 and has been adopted by over 40 groups and universities since. At University of Arkansas Fort Smith, Dr. Kiyun Han, Associate Professor of Electronics Technology & Electrical Engineering Technology saw benefit of the program for children in our area. He then reached out to Trish Baumgartner, Bost Children Services Director, to see if the project could be beneficial to those we serve. She immediately identified two children who would greatly benefit: Coty and Melanie.
Dr. Han & his students took two off-the-shelf ride-on Jeeps and modified them to meet Coty & Melanie’s specific needs. Dr. Han worked closely with Robert Mack, Occupational Therapist, to help the kids achieve their greatest independent mobility while keeping their safety and stability at the forefront.
Parents, grandparents, & Bost staff were on hand for the delivery and first rides. It was so exciting to see the kids riding in their Jeeps! There were lots of smiles, tears, and laughter. It was fun to watch Coty & Melanie discovering the lights, horn, and Bluetooth radios in their Jeeps, while their parents may have more appreciated the remote control, and increased strength, stability, and safety the modified ride ons offer. Dr. Han’s team compiled custom user’s manuals so the parents could learn about the use, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the machines.
The best part, aside from Coty & Melanie’s smiling faces, is the fact that all information learned through this project will be shared by UAFS openly so anyone interested can see the technology and processes needed to modify these low-cost vehicles! We look forward to working with Dr. Han and his UAFS team in the future for the betterment of our community.
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