Robotics Merit Badge

I am an active Boy Scout in addition to being addicted to Robotics. Many of the members of my troop have become interested in the field since the Championship event. I have become interested in organizing/creating a Robotics Merit Badge.
It is an ambitious undertaking, but not an unprecedented one. Steven Spielberg felt that there should be a merit badge focusing on the art of cinematography. He felt so strongly about it that he sponsored an application to the national council. His request was approved and thus was born the Cinematography badge. I think that with the support of Dean Camen we could successfully petition for the creation of a Robotics Merit Badge.
I don’t know if anyone else is interested in this possibility, but since Chief Delphi is one of the more active online communities I thought it would be wise to gather support here for the idea first. So go ahead and let me know what you think of the idea.

He won’t support you if you spell his name wrong. :wink:

But I think it’d be a great idea. One of my friends is an avid boy scout. Due to his commitment to that, he doesn’t have the time to join robotics. A robotics merit badge would give him more experience.

As an Eagle Scout, I’d love to help. Let me know what I can do.


I believe there is time for both. I am an eagle scout and was on robotics. I believe that it is something that could go in tandem.

Well I suppose the first step would to be coming up with the basic requirments for the merit badge. I think it should cover the basics of Robotics. It has got to cover electronics, drive train and programming. The desgin process should be thrown in thier too.
Centering the Merit Badge around a project would help tie all the components togther, not to mention making it easy for FIRST particapants to earn. At the same time it needs to stay flexible enough that people with no contact with FIRST can earn it with relative ease.
I will try and get a basic write up done. I will either post it here or possibly in the White Papers section.

Uh, forgot to post this in my last one…sorry about messing up Dean’s name. I am a horrible speller.

Following the current merit badge structure, I would propose something along thses lines.

  1. Explain the basic functions and subsystems of a robot and what each do.

  2. Explain robotics’s impact on the world.

  3. Explain 3 uses for robotics.

  4. Do one of the following:
    A. Visit a facility that uses robotics.
    B. Construct a robot out of Lego’s to achieve a simple task autonomously.
    C. Visit a local FIRST team.

  5. Explain the robotics design process.

  6. Explain 3 ways that robots directly affect your life.

I’m sure I’m leaving something out…I need feedback…Watcha think?


I think the requirments should be along this line.

  1. Explain the current uses of Robotics

  2. Explain the Desgin Proccess and disscuss it’s applications to robotics.

3a. use the desgin process to desgin a robot to acomplish a task set by your merit badge consolor.
3b. Explain the uses of electonics in your project robot and comercial robots.
3c. Disscuss what machinary would be required to maufacture the project robot.
3d. Create a Timetable for creating your project robot.
3e. Determine the price for creating your project robot.

  1. Visit a organazation that uses robots (Comercial Plant, Police Station, FIRST team)

5a. Research difrent programs that encourage the use of robotics.
5b. Give a 5 min presentation on one of the programs to your troop.

There is already a robotics merit badge in the works. I know that a former Motorola employee is pusuing this with the national office. He spoke to me about it last year. It couldn’t hurt to follow it up with a letter to national asking about the progress just to help it along.

I am glad to see this. There are already several merit badges that have requirements that relate to robotics. A single merit badge to tie everything together is certainly needed.

Hmmm Our Council limits merit badge counselors to being registered for six merit badges at a time. I still have one slot open, think I could qualify? :smiley:

Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 4673, Pacifica District, LA Council
Merit Badge Councilor for:
Emergency Preparedness

Among other responsibilities

PS gwross, Chief Delphi’s local grammar curmudgeon, is our Scoutmaster

I am also very active in Boy Scouts and FIRST Robots. A Robots merit badge would a great thing.

A Robotics Merit Badge would be a nice way to bring in new Team members and expand FIRST’s exposure as well. I was attracted to FIRST by the common underlying FIRST and BSA precepts.

For the past few FIRST seasons our Troop SPL & ASPLs have happened to be on the Team. A quarter of our Team is typically made up of Scouts in any given year, and two of the adult mentors are also Scoutmasters. Our Troop schedule miraculously complements the FIRST travel schedule, however, the Scouts tend to disappear for several long weekends during the FIRST build season.

All my MB counselor slots are filled, but I can drop a little used MB and replace it with a Robotics MB.

Scoutmaster Troop 343
Matinecock District
Suffolk County Council
Hauppauge, NY

As an Eagle Scout, let me know what I can do to help…

Ditto - me too :slight_smile:

I’m still a registered scouter with my original troop now - Troop 27 out of Syracuse. This would be interesting :smiley:

Sounds awesome, if you need any help feel free to ask me. :]

With robotics becoming prominent in our world today I think a robotics merit badge is becoming more and more necessary.I’d be happy to help just let me know what is needed. My friend and I are in the same troop and on the same team, and we have talked about a robotics merit badge several times.

Joe Jagadics
Life Scout
ASPL and Quartermaster
BSA Troop 1539
Been to:
Philmont Scout Ranch and Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp

I wish we could identify the lead person and help them to get this done - I know it is sometimes a political battle to get a new merit accepted but this one would be great. It is always good to see that souting is alive in many arenas. Let me know if there is any way I can help to further this cause.

Ken York
Father of 1 Eagle Scout and 2nd on his way (I hope)
Troop 509 committe member and couselor
Woodbadger SR301 FOX patrol
and of course Team 476 mentor

PS I love to torture Life scouts in their last BOR before Eagle.

Oh… So you are one of those kinda guys :eek: :smiley: I think each troop has at least one.

It was hard enough to get my Eagle (They held onto me for a year and a half) let alone my Bronze Palm. The 4 guys had never sat on a Palm BOR before and as such it lasted over an hour. That was really annoying.

Yep that is me - not really - I have a set of questions and it usually only thanks around 45 mins to and hour. By the time a scout gets there in our troop they know the routime pretty well and usually have no trouble.
I want to ensure that a scout has the principles of scouting down and what it means to them to be an eagle scout.
and Palm reviews are usually prety easy - I am curious how yours was in your troop

PS Bonus question — where was the first scout troop in America located?

An Eagle Scout I am! i would love to help

dont forget to investigate the othere aspects of robotics. IE battlebots, car building robots, and autonomous helping robots. this would cover the entire feild or robotics.