What would a bunch of high-school students do over summer? Probably join summer camps, play Pokemon Go or get busy camping and trekking. Well, most of them. The story of these 20 Cleveland high school students is different as they built a bomb-seeking robot suitable for all types of terrain. This team from Cuyahoga Community College built the robot for the upcoming Republican National Convention, that is held at Quicken Loans Arena. The program is supervised by Professor George Bilokonsky:
“The robot’s purpose is to scout ahead of time,” he said.
The Cleveland Police Department was in need of something fast and nimble and they saw the team of “whiz kids” at the community college and decided they would be up to the task. This is how “Scoutbot” was born.
“I wanted something simple, to check suspicious packages or whatever, and do it quickly,” said Sargent Tim Maffo-Judd of CPD bomb squad. It was needed because “Our main bomb bot can go up and down stairs, shoot things, and blow things up, but it takes 20 minutes to set up.” ?he said.
The students were delighted to be entrusted with such a task.
“It feels like an honor and privilege to be able to work with the bomb squad on a project that they can use for the future and help keep people safe,” Mark Hairston, one of the students said in interview to CNN. “It was a little daunting at first, but over time, as it developed into the actual robot and we could see what it was becoming, it felt pretty good.”
“Scoutbot” would save that valuable time which officers could use to disarm the bomb instead. The six-wheeled bot looks like a remote-controlled toy car is set up in only 5 minutes. It’s equipped with a camera that enables 360 degree view, has a 400 feet range and even has night vision. Scoutbot’s structure is (18 x 6 x 12) inches in dimensions, made up mostly of 3D printed parts and aluminium. Its miniature design allows it to access normally inaccessible spaces for example, underneath cars to search for bombs. The project received $500 grant from a CPD foundation and Scoutbot was completed using spare parts from a shop around the community college.
Here’s a video of Scoutbot:
“You know, I never thought I’d be building a robot with a bunch of high school kids,” said Maffo-Judd. “I’m proud to be apart of it, and those kids are a thousand times smarter than I’ll ever be.”