John Deere Tractor Ride-on Modified For 4-Year Old With Cerebral Palsy By UWF Engineering Students

July 18, 2019

Four-year old Jack Carroll is ready to ride is his new kid-sized John Deere tractor, thanks to an engineering program at the University of West Florida.

Born prematurely with a form of cerebral palsy, Jack can’t enjoy the electric toy vehicles on the market. But a new program at the University of West Florida helps young children with physical disabilities move around independently.

The first vehicle of its kind in the “Argotots”  program, the John Deere tractor was modified and outfitted for Jack. A three-point harness was added to the tractor since he has trouble sitting upright unassisted and the steering wheel was adjusted for easier one-arm operation. The vehicle comes with a remote control so others can control its movement when necessary.

“This is going to be great because he has balance issues and he loves to explore and be outside,” said Danielle Carroll, Jack’s mother.

“Seeing the positive impact of the ‘Go Baby Go’ program, a national program for children with limited mobility, inspired me to start our own program at UWF,” said Dr. Brad Regez, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering. “I realized there was great need and opportunity for a program of this kind in the area.”

Mechanical engineering majors Fred Anderson, Selena Beasley, Isaac Brunet, Phillip Mitchell, Cody Sewell and Shane Smith worked on the project. The design, materials testing and calculations took months of preparations, while the implementation of the design and planned modifications took less than a week. During the fall semester, students documented in detail each step of the build and modification process. They conducted rigorous testing and inspection after each modification and were required to give multiple presentations on their progress or any issues during the build.

“Having the opportunity to apply the engineering knowledge that I’m learning for my degree in a way that can impact a child’s life for the better is very encouraging,” Brunet said. “It has reminded me that engineering is not all about steel beams and bridges, but about making an impact on people’s lives.”

Photos for, click to enlarge.


7 Responses to “John Deere Tractor Ride-on Modified For 4-Year Old With Cerebral Palsy By UWF Engineering Students”

  1. Rusty Shakleford on July 18th, 2019 3:08 pm

    If this does not pull on your heart strings…nothing will. What a wonderful blessing for all those involved. Thank you UWF for starting this program with local families benefiting.

  2. Brenda on July 18th, 2019 12:11 pm

    That’s Great now he can enjoy the outdoors and enjoy his tractor May God bless yall.

  3. ANOTHER MOM on July 18th, 2019 11:39 am

    Thank you North Escambia for posting a positive story. The smiles in this picture are priceless!! Great job!!!

  4. Jackie Johnsons on July 18th, 2019 9:48 am

    So enjoy seeing the smiles on all the faces involved. Thank you to UWF, the professor, the students and to the parents for helping Jack have a fun filled life on his John Deere. God finds awesome people to help others.

  5. Rosemary simpson on July 18th, 2019 9:13 am

    Great job

  6. Sage2 on July 18th, 2019 9:08 am

    Young folks doing the right thing for a child and community. A child’s smile is worth everything good.

  7. A Mom on July 18th, 2019 8:10 am

    What a great story to start my day off! Thank you so much to the ones who made this happen. You have made a lifelong lasting impression on this family and they will never forget you for it. God bless all of you who made this happen!

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