Scouts work toward robotics badge at YSU event

By Sean Barron


One day, 13-year-old Gabe Hasan may learn how cases move through the legal system, but now he’s excited to learn how things move mechanically.

“We did most of the wiring,” said Gabe, a member of Champion-based Boy Scout Troop 4025, referring to a small robotic figure he and other Scouts helped build.

Gabe, a Champion Middle School seventh-grader, also was one of 22 Boy Scouts who participated in Saturday’s third semiannual Robotics Merit Badge event in Youngstown State University’s Moser Hall.

Hosting the six-hour gathering was YSU’s Department of Engineering Technology. Youngsters representing nine troops from the Whispering Pines District Greater Western Reserve Council Boy Scouts of America attended.

Gabe, who hopes to be a lawyer, said he’s learned a lot about technology from his grandfather, who’s an electrician.

Assisting the boy was fellow Troop 4025 member and good friend George Katradis, 12, whose ambitions include becoming a nuclear engineer.

“I’m learning how to wire electric circuits with other parts of the robot, and it’s really fun,” said George, who also participated in disassembling the robot.

Looking on and offering occasional encouragement was George’s father, Nick Katradis, a products manager with Ajax Tocco Magnethermic Corp. of Warren.

Everett Goldberg of Warren-based Troop 86 plans to attend culinary school, possibly in San Diego, where he lived for five years, but he was quite content with his first taste of robotics.

“I hope to get my Eagle Scout,” the 15-year-old Howland High School 10th-grader said.

Everett, who became a Boy Scout at age 7, added that he enjoys certain aspects of technology, especially his iPhone he uses to send text messages, play video games and take photographs.

He and other Troop 86 members worked with several boys in Leavittsburg-based Troop 8 as they followed a highly detailed instruction manual to complete the intricate, elaborate process of building a small robot.

One of those who appreciated the teamwork aspect of the boys’ collaboration was Everett’s father, Mark Goldberg, a telephone technician with CenturyLink Solutions Center in Warren.

In addition to building the robots, the Scouts were to complete their merit-badge requirements, consider safety issues and learn about medical and numerous other careers in the field, noted Daryl Gross, a YSU professor of mechanical engineering and technology and event coordinator.

“It’s an opportunity to give the boys an engineering view on robotics,” Gross added.

After their hands-on, interactive experience, the participants were introduced in a lab to a 9-foot Fanuc-420 robot, commonly used to weld parts on vehicles at General Motors Co. in Lordstown.

Assisting Gross with Saturday’s effort were Drs. Mike Crescimanno and Ronald Griswold, professors of physics and mechanical-engineering technology, respectively.

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