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Scoutmaster Bucky Participation Preparation Requirements
Robotics Merit Badge


Check-in starts 1/2 hour prior to the start time of your class. You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.

Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide directions as to where one can find the answers.  It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event.

You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Robotics Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Robotics Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST.

Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster
2. Your Registration Receipt
3. Scout Uniform
4. Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook for this merit badge printed out and preparation work filled in
5. Your Robot Engineering Notebook
6. Any additional supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge
7. Robotic Kit that you may have for use in the class 
8. A positive Scouting focus and attitude
Following is an outline of the class syllabus to help you prepare.  Also note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work.
  1. Safety. Do each of the following:

    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while working with robots and what you should do to anticipate, mitigate and prevent, and respond to these hazards.  Describe the appropriate safety gear and clothing that should be used when working with robotics.

    Scouts will need to do some research and reading in order to prepare for this requirement.  It is recommended that Scouts make notes of their findings to help show the counselor their efforts in preparing for the class.  These notes can also serve to help Scouts successfully perform their explanation or discussion elements of this requirement. It will be very difficult for Scouts who do not come prepared for this requirement to successfully complete the requirement in the class.

    1. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries that could occur while participating in robotics activities and competitions, including cuts, eye injuries, and burns (chemical or heat).

    Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge.

  1. Robotics industry.  Discuss the following with your counselor:

    1. The kinds of things robots can do and how robots are best used today.

    2. The similarities and differences between remote-control vehicles, telerobots, and autonomous robots.

    3. Three different methods robots can use to move themselves other than wheels or tracks.  Describe when it would be appropriate to use each method

    This requirement will be covered during the class, however it must be noted that preparation by reading the merit badge pamphlet is a MUST for this requirement, but does still not guarantee completion as Scouts will need to actively participate in individual and/or group discussion on these items,  demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the objectives of these requirements.  Having done preparation work by thoroughly reading the merit badge pamphlet prior to the class will ensure a higher chance of completion of this requirement for Scouts.  Written notes in your Scoutmaster Bucky Robotics Merit Badge Workbook can greatly increase the likelihood of completing these requirements.

  1. General knowledge. Discuss with your counselor three of the five major fields of robotics (human-robot interface, mobility, manipulation, programming, sensors) and their importance to robotics development. Discuss either the three fields as they relate to a single robot system OR talk about each field in general.  Find pictures or at least one video to aid your discussion.

    Scouts will work in small groups led by class facilitators who will assist in mentoring and guiding the discussion surrounding this requirement.  Scouts must do some preparation work prior to the class to even have a chance of completing this requirement. (Notes are highly recommended to help assist Scouts on their discussion point). Scouts will not automatically be signed off on this requirement just for attending as the requirement states that they must discuss a number of items and will be required to partake in group and/or individual discussion to obtain credit. Additionally note that the requirement states that Scouts must bring items to help aid their points in the discussion. Scouts not bringing these items will NOT be signed off on this requirement.  BE PREPARED.

  1. Design, build, program, test.  Do each of the following:

    1. With your counselor's approval, choose a task for the robot or robotic subsystem that you plan to build. Include sensor feedback and programming in the task.  Document this information in your robot engineering notebook.

    2. Design your robot.  The robot design should use sensors and programming and have at least 2 degrees of freedom.  Document the design in your robot engineering notebook using drawings and a written description.

    3. Build a robot or robotic subsystem of your original design to accomplish the task you chose for requirement 4a.

    4. Discuss with your counselor the programming options available for your robot.  Then do either option 1 OR option 2.

      1. Option 1.  Program your robot to perform the task you chose for your robot in 4a. Include a sample of your program's source code in your robot engineering notebook.

      2. Option 2. Prepare a flowchart of the desired steps to program your robot for accomplishing the task in 4a.  Include procedures that show activities based on sensor inputs.  Place this in your robot engineering notebook.

    5. Test your robot and record results in your robot engineering notebook. Include suggestions on how you could improve your robot, as well as pictures or sketches of your finished robot

    Scouts should be prepared by bringing a Robot Engineering Notebook on the day of the class.  Scouts having robotic experience may choose to do some of these components ahead of time increasing their ability to complete and be signed off on all requirements at the class. Scouts not having prior robotic experience will have time allotted during the class to get an understanding of the requirement and make a lot of headway on these items if they work hard and stay focused.

  1. Demonstrate. Do the following:

    1. Demonstrate for your counselor the robot you built in requirement 4

    2. Share your robot engineering notebook with your counselor.  Talk about how well your robot accomplished the task, the improvements you would make in your next design, and what you learned about the design process

    Some Scouts who have robotic experience and bring their pre-class work for requirement 4, may have an opportunity to present their robot. If time allows during the class, Scouts will be presenting their robotic creations, designs, ideas, and notebooks to the merit badge counselor (this may be done one-on-one or as a part of group discussions and sharing and is at the discretion of the counselor)

  1. Competitions.  Do ONE of the following:

    1. Attend a robotics competition and report to your counselor what you saw and learned about the competition and how teams are organized and managed.

    2. Learn about three youth robotics competitions.  Tell your counselor about these, including type of competition, time commitment, age of participants, and how many teams are involved

    Scouts should choose one of the options in this requirement to work on prior to the class and bring their completed work to the class ready to share for completion. The Counselor will facilitate a group discussion on both of these options during the class, allowing Scouts to share their findings and learn from other Scouts. Only Scouts who have done preparation work and are able to satisfactorily demonstrate they have completed the items within the selected option AND actively participate in the group discussion, will be considered for completion of this requirement.  Scouts will NOT be able to complete this requirement without some preparation work prior to the class.

    During the class Scouts will learn about the First Lego League and other Robotic teams and competitions in the local area. If Scouts are unable to come to the class prepared, they will leave with ideas and resources for easily finishing this requirement on their own.

  1. Careers.  Name three career opportunities in robotics. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession.  Discuss with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you

    Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items.

this page last reviewed and updated - July 2012