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Go Baby Go is a national, community-based research, design and outreach program that provides modified ride-on cars to children birth to age 3 who experience limited mobility.
The program began in 2012 with founder Cole Galloway at the University of Delaware. Integrating assistive technology, families, clinicians and industry partners, the program provides children with disability the opportunity for movement, mobility and socialization and has been expanding ever since.
The program began at Oregon State University, in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, in 2014 under the direction of Associate Professor Sam Logan. Any inquiries should be sent to him via email or phone at (541) 737-3437.
The process is pretty simple for obtaining a modified ride-on car. Sam can work with you via email to determine if we have the resources to help based on the needs of your child. Our lab is equipped to modify Lightning McQueen models. These are 6v models that work best for children 6 months to 3 years old. If you can send a general description (a picture helps too if you’re comfortable with sharing) of your child, this can be helpful for us to know how much level of support he/she may need.
Once we determine how best we can help, we can schedule a visit for you to come to Corvallis for a final fitting/test driving session where you can take a car home. Any clinician who works with your child is invited as well, as they will likely serve as the best support person once you take a car home. We also usually invite the Oregon State students who helped to modify the cars because it’s a great experience for them to see their work in action.
We accept donations; $200 covers the cost of one car plus modification supplies. Checks can be made payable to “OSU Foundation” and designated to the Social Mobility Lab in the memo line (this is very important so that the funds can be deposited in the correct account. Checks can be sent to: OSU Foundation, 4238 SW Research Way, Corvallis, OR 97333.
If you prefer to donate online, visit OSU’s secure online giving site. Select Option 1 - “I’m Making a Gift.” Then, make sure to type “Social Mobility Lab” in the “Area you’d like to support.” This will make sure that the funds come to the Go Baby Go Program.
At this time, there are no plans to modify larger cars.
This is why the 12v cars are more difficult to modify: There are a couple of key issues when considering modifying a larger ride-on car. The “Big Red” adapted switch uses wires that are too small in diameter to be used with a larger, 12v ride-on car. It is important that the wire diameter of any new switch match the wire diameter of the existing wire within the ride-on car. If this advice is not followed, there is a good possibility of the wires overheating or catching fire. There are electrical modifications that can get around this issue by installing a relay; however, we have not yet made these modifications. This is NOT the only safety issue, just an example. Our best advice is to contact a local engineer or electrical expert who will be able to help safely modify a ride-on car.
If you decide to modify a car yourself, our best advice is to share information on this program with your child’s clinical team and seek out help from anyone with engineering/electrical expertise who can help with the modifications.
At this time, we do not have the resources or personnel to modify cars and ship nationally. However, there are several resources available online.
University of Delaware’s Go Baby Go website (founding group) includes several links such as a national and international contact list and information on how to bring a workshop to your area. You can also check out its Facebook page.