Possibly one of the greatest ways to use your team’s skills as a FIRST robotics team is by developing solutions for today’s problems. Up Next has started a new partnership with Wounded Warriors Family Support to give back to our disabled heroes. We call this…THE HERO PROJECT.
The Hero Project is an initiative started by Up Next, designed to benefit our wounded veterans with inventions designed specifically to meet their needs. With help of Wounded Warriors Family Support, we are identifying wounded veterans and inviting other FRC teams across the nation to join this project. The idea is that teams will be matched with disabled veterans in their area and will design and create inventions for them. We currently have three other FRC teams who have expressed interest in joining our Hero Project. We started to promote the Hero Project at our 2013 season competitions.
The project started when one of our mentors mentioned that he knew a quadriplegic, Ron Gulick, who wanted to be able to leash and unleash his service dog. Since one of the core values of FIRST is helping others, Up Next decided that this was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. Not only did we complete the project by creating a custom leash release mechanism for him, but we also built him another device that allowed him to feed himself for the first time in eight years.
After this, Up Next couldn’t help but want to do more to assist the disabled, especially our veterans. We then assisted John Weinburgh, a veteran in Omaha, Nebraska. John suffered a severe spinal injury following an accident during a training exercise which left him a quadriplegic. We designed and created a gripping device in order to assist John in moving objects around.
Just before Veteran’s Day the Hero Project caught the attention of KCTV5 news station, who interviewed the team and made a news segment on The Hero Project. A few days later the segment was featured multiple times on air and their website. Not only is Up Next honoring the living veterans through The Hero Project but also the ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This year Up Next participated in Wreaths Across America, a nationwide event that honors the countless men and women who have died for our country. Although all our other outreach programs are important to us, our crown jewel and the most impactful is the Hero Project.
If your FRC team would like to join The Hero Project, please click “Contact Us” and message us about becoming a part of The Hero Project!