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Local students create a unique wheelchair for a two-legged goat

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS10) - A two-legged goat is able to walk for the first time thanks to technology and local students. After six months of molding a unique wheelchair and configuring multiple prototypes -- a technology class at William Byrd High School found a model that works. WSLS10 followed up on their journey.

Lilly, a two-year-old goat born with only two legs, is now up and strolling thanks to her new wheels.

"Lilly's never walked before in her life," commented high school Junior Orion Turner. "I bet you she's excited."

Turner is one of the students part of the technology engineering class that crafted Lilly's 3D printed wheelchair.

We met up with the class in November, when all the students had was a Styrofoam mold.

"We really didn't think this was going happen in the short amount of time," mentioned classmate Christian Robertson.

Students say over the last six months, they met every other day and dedicated more than 70 hours to this project. It took several failed attempts to get the model just right.

"Basically, we started out with a sketch -- trying to figure out what's going to work, making prototypes, getting her in it and kind of figuring out what's exactly going to work," said Turner.

"You have mistakes," commented Teacher Patricia Smith. "You have things that don't work out and that's one of the important things they've learned; everything doesn't work so, you go back to the drawing board."

Students said the key was finding where Lilly balances her weight to create a wheelchair that would give her stability.

"For goats in particular, it's very important that goats be upright and standing for their digestive system," said Lisa O'Neill, the Owner and Director or Angels of Assisi. "So we had concerns with her from the beginning."

Thanks to a group of young engineers that never gave up, Lilly is strutting around.

"She's already moving her leg, using the movements and doing really well," said Turner.

Lilly will continue to improve step by step each day.

The project will carry on. Angels of Assisi is coming up with a plan that will allow Lilly to visit and help others with disabilities.