A group of New Hampshire eighth graders have raised the bar by designing a 3D-printed wheelchair for a blind kitten with a spinal condition that affects his ability to walk.
The 6-month-old rescue kitten named 'Ray' was adopted from the Odd Cat Sanctuary in Salem, Mass, despite an inoperable spinal disorder that makes it so Ray's back legs are unable to move properly. The kitten was also born with abnormally small eyes, meaning Ray is completely blind.
Carrie Barron, the woman who adopted Ray told WGME-TV that the kitten is happy. "He does have a lot of challenges but he doesn't know that. He's very happy. He plays and he's really well-adjusted."
The kitten isn't paralyzed, and can apparently feel his legs, but can't really move them in any sort of walking motion. The kitten, adopted by Carrie Barron of Portsmouth, also caught the attention of her neighbor, Erin Bakkom who teaches eighth graders at Portsmouth Middle School.
Bakkom secured the use of the Portsmouth Public Library's 3D printer and had two teams of eighth-graders compete with two different designs of the wheelchair.
Ray has already outgrown the first wheelchair designed by the 8th graders which had two wheels. Ray got to test a version with four wheels last week.