"Aanand Mehta co-founded "Magical Motors," an assistive technology initiative to help children with mobility impairments regain autonomy by rewiring ride-on toy cars to be hand-controlled instead of foot-powered."
"As one of 25 Prudential Emerging Visionary winners, Aanand will receive a $5,000 award to help take his innovation to the next level. He is also invited to attend an all-expenses-paid trip with his parent or guardian to Prudential's Newark, New Jersey, headquarters for a three-day summit in April where he will receive coaching, skills development and networking opportunities with Prudential employees and other young leaders."
"Magical Motors also offers programming in schools, medical centers and therapy clinics across the country, working to train the next generation in STEM. With the help of 150 young people they have trained as builders, the initiative has made cars for over 25 beneficiaries. Aanand is hoping to donate 100 more cars and start two to five more chapters."
"You may be wondering, "How do you modify these cars?" Well, we adapt these cars for children with cerebral palsy and caudal regression syndrome by rewiring the vehicles such that they are controlled by a hand-powered button, as opposed to a foot/accelerator pedal. By performing the aforementioned process, we cultivate an enriched environment for all participants; by teaching essential qualities such as soldering wires and drilling techniques, we prepare car builders for a successful career in the STEM field, and continually reinforce a sentiment of compassion, teamwork, and empathy."
"One of Aanand’s favorite memories with Magical Motors was in December of 2021 when he met the organization’s first car recipient, 4-year-old Ollie, whose lower spine wasn’t completely developed. Aanand helped build a red McLaren car for Ollie’s Christmas. Ollie told Aanand that it was the best Christmas present ever."
"Together, the team rewires toy cars to be drivable for kids between the ages of three and eight. They make them easier to navigate with hand controls instead of foot pedals, and even install harnesses, remote controls and back support — anything and everything to make a child’s car accessible and fun."
"It took us months of hard work, paperwork, and correspondence to form a registered 501(c)(3) organization. The next step was finding our target market. In terms of that, we started off local, spreading the word on social media groups, and the future-recipients began communicating with us to have a car made for them. In late-2021, we began networking with other like-minded groups, such as STEM organizations and therapy clinics, and we are in the midst of forming partnerships with them, in an effort to implement our program in their facilities."
"We also thought of spreading our mission to STEM organizations, therapy centers, and medical centers across the country, as a way to diversify our beneficiaries. And now, we are collaborating with more than 10 nationally-renowned like-minded organizations that embrace our program and look forward to working with us!"
"...after receiving cars, participants develop a newfound attitude of independence and freedom of expression. Overall, our mission is to bring about a more inclusive community. And you can help us fulfill our mission by becoming the founder of a Magical Motors chapter at your school!"
"Thank you Magical Motors! Oliver is now cruising the streets! This wonderful nonprofit organization purchases power wheels, adapts them for children with physical and developmental disabilities and provides them to families free of charge. We were introduced to the engineer behind the car, our new friend Aanand, and had the opportunity to learn about his passion for children. "
"Fichadia, a Millard North High School junior, is passionate about applying engineering and technology to social and community causes. At 14-years-old, he co-founded the nonprofit Magical Motors to create assistive mobility vehicles for children with developmental disabilities."
"Saturday marked a return for the semiannual project, which had been dormant for more than a year because of the pandemic. Since 2016, Munroe-Meyer volunteers have helped provide more than 40 cars for local kids ages 9 months to 6 years."
"The creators of a nonprofit organization, 'Magical Motors,' showcased their work on modifying wheelchairs for kids with cerebral palsy and down syndrome. The chairs look like small toy cars that are operated by buttons and an easy-to-grip steering device."
"Rohan and Aanand are cousins who started Magical Motors to (1) assistive technologies to children with developmental disabilities, (2) connect educational theory with applied use cases, and (3) build STEM curriculum for high schools across school districts."
"Power wheelchairs can cost thousands and are built for older individuals, leaving children with mobility challenges few options. Fichadia is working to achieve his Eagle rank through this community project and raised more than $2,000 to fund the toy cars, engineering parts and modification tools. To modify the cars, Fichadia and his fellow scouts will be working with a team of organizations."