ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS10) – Some local high school students are taking leaps in applying technology to better a life. In a technology resource class at William Byrd High School, students are molding a wheelchair for a two-legged goat using 3-D imaging technology.
Students eagerly comfort Lilly, a two-year-old goat, as they take measurements from all sides. What they’re doing is no easy task.
“Having both legs on one side is kind of a challenge, because you have to be able to balance her weight so, she won’t tip over,” said Angels of Assisi Adoption Director Matthew Brown.
Angels of Assisi has cared for Lily for the past few months. She was born without her right front and back legs.
It was a Facebook post that grabbed one teacher’s attention.
“I saw that they had a two legged goat that they were trying to work something out with for a wheelchair or legs or something,” said teacher Caitlin Hartman. “And, I thought we have the perfect class for this”
With the help of 3-D imaging technology, William Byrd High School students are constructing a unique wheelchair.
“You have to match the mechanics on both sides with the legs,” said high school junior Christian Robertson. “You have to create almost like a suspension with a car.”
“If you’ve ever had like a regular printer at your house it’s very similar,” said Hartman. “Your printer lays down ink, this just lays down plastic. And it builds it from the bottom up and just puts layers of plastic on top of each other.”
Before Robertson and others use the 3-D scanner, they need to create an electronic mold – a prototype of the wheelchair. They take pictures from all angles, and then scan them into the computer which generates life size measurements of Lily.
“Now, that it’s loosing muscle mass in the legs it’s not able to operate until someone moves it,” said Robertson. “So, with this wheelchair it’s able to work out the other legs. It’s like physical therapy every time it moves.”
Thanks to a group of high school students – Lily’s wheelchair, serving as a new set of legs, will allow her to move like any other normal goat.