Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted (Opt-Out)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Cherrice Traver


assistive technology, disability, wheelchair, open source, mobility, replicable, Wild Thing, replicable, children


Powered wheelchairs are integral to the development of children with disabilities. However, commercial wheelchairs are very expensive, typically costing over $10,000, to be widely incorporated into physical therapy and rehabilitation programs. In 2017-18, two Union seniors designed a low-cost power mobility device (Version 1.0) by retrofitting a Fisher-Price children toy called the Wild Thing. This device was delivered to The Kevin G. Langan School in the spring of 2018. This senior capstone design project improves Version 1.0 to create Version 2.0 and addresses challenges in the field of assistive technologies.

The challenges in the field of assistive technologies lies in the need to customize hardware and/or software on each device for children with different motor skills. Current DIY assistive wheelchairs are not easily replicable and self-diagnosable upon system malfunctions. Poor hardware and software design documentation makes maintenance difficult.

To address these challenges, this senior capstone design project transforms a one-time project into an easily replicable open-source product. For Version 2.0 to be accessible to anyone who may wish to replicate the device, a public website ( was built as dedicated resource hub. On this site, users are able to access the construction manual of both the control system as well as the seating structure of Version 2.0.

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