This mini-course will assist you in completing the “hands on” requirements of the BSA Robotics Merit Badge entitled “Section 4: Design, build, program, test”.
This course uses the Boe-Bot Robot from Parallax Inc., a recommended robotics kit for this Merit Badge.
About the Boe-Bot Robot
The Parallax Boe-bot robot kit is a comprehensive program that includes all the hardware, software, documentation, and support necessary to understand many aspects of engineering, mechatronics, and software development. Included with the Boe-bot kit is a comprehensive book entitled Robotics with the Boe-Bot. This book is available in hard-copy as well as free downloadable .pdf.
Robotics with the Boe-Bot contains much more technical information than what the Robotics Merit Badge requires.
This abbreviated series of lessons (gleaned from Robotics with the Boe-Bot) was created to encourage Scouts who are interested enough in robotics to obtain their Merit Badge, but not enough to go “too deep, too quickly”. For some of you, this may be the extent of your robotics adventure.
However, for the rest of you who get “hooked” after achieving the Badge, go ahead and dive right into Robotics with the Boe-Bot — a much larger and amazing world awaits!
About this Mini-Course
This mini-course includes “Challenges” which are scenarios where you must come up with solutions, based on what you’ve learned while studying robotics. You’re encouraged to use Robotics with the Boe-Bot as a reference guide, should you want a more comprehensive explanation of the mini-course concepts.
You should complete at least Challenges #1 and #3.
Challenges #2 and #4 are “real-world” Challenges. You are highly encouraged to do these, as they demonstrate real-world issues that may/can be solved through the application of mobile, autonomous robotics technology.
You and your Counselor may wish to define two or more “Collaborative Design Challenges” that can be variations or extensions of the ”standard” Challenges. This is HIGHLY recommended and encouraged, as it involves “working as a team” between you, other Scouts and your Counselor.
And of course, another significant tenet of the Badge’s requirements is to document everything you do. That is what your Engineering Notebook is for - Use it liberally!
This mini-course is a set of web pages. You can browse through them using the menu at left, or using the links at the bottom of each page. If you want to save this mini-course on your local computer, or if you want to simply print it out, click on the "Printer-friendly version" link in the lower right corner of the page. Then, in your browser, choose File > Print or File > Save as to print or store the entire mini-course.
Special Pages for Robotics Merit Badge Counselors
- Robotics Merit Badge Counselor Information - tips for using the Boe-Bot robot with your troop
- Robotics Merit Badge Counselor Training - a workshop at for adult Scout volunteers