Robotics merit badge just announced

So you know how to build and program robots; what do you want, a badge? Now you can get just that, assuming you’re 11-18 years old and know all of the secret (or not so secret) handshakes, oaths, and pledges. The Boy Scouts of America recently announced the brand-new robotics merit badge. Now kids who cut their teeth building rule-breaking entries in the Pinewood Derby can have a go with robotics kits.

The requirements which must be satisfied to earn the badge start with safety and end with an exploration of the careers associated with the field. Along the way the Boy Scouts are encouraged to learn about keeping an engineering notebook during the design process, planning and programming the hardware, and attending a robotics competition like FIRST or VEX.

It’s not hard to see that this merit badge is right up our alley. We just hope it can grab some attention from the uber-popular badges like Stamp Collecting and Basketry.


  1. jme says:

    i think the badge should be the new open source hardware logo

  2. Dakota says:

    this is cool im actually competing in the first robotics national championship in the next couple of weeks.the badge was actually brought about from a team of students that compete in first robotics. i believe they got a couple of awards for it.

  3. Dosbomber says:

    ….which is probably why their organization is so highly regarded in the first place.

  4. Guest says:

    The BSA is a federally funded religious organization. F U BSA.

  5. Brian.Holiday says:

    @John, here is your chance to start the FAQSA. Good luck!

  6. 058606 says:

    XD I got my blue card signed yesterday, the day it came out :D I’m gonna try to be one of the first in the country to get it!

  7. Chris says:

    Dang it! I am 3 years too late for this! I got my eagle scout right before my 18th birthday… if only they had this badge a few years ago…

  8. David says:

    Wow, isn’t it interesting how many scouts and former scouts hang out here. You guys ROCK!! BSA struggles to keep the program as revalent as possible without sacrificing it’s core values, a major challenge given how fast our society changes today.
    Got my Eagle in 1968.

  9. Caleb Kraft says:

    The boyscouts views are worth a discussion… elsewhere. I can guarantee that some of us here at hackaday have discussed the topic, but this isn’t the place for that argument. I apologize if a few posts got deleted that weren’t offensive but I’m just trying to put this train back on the rails before it becomes a debate about something completely off topic.

  10. sam says:

    looks like im a little to late for this one :(

  11. caleb says:

    shit, and i was just gonna make an offensive comment. not towards the scouts themselves, but the troop leaders. we all know about them. but ill keep it to myself. this time. :-)

  12. XiuiX says:

    Good for BSA This merit badge is hold more merit than the Video Game badge.

  13. cmholm says:

    Got my eagle in 1977, same year as my TI-57 programmable. Unfortunately, the merit badges were trailing the tech, badly. Nowadays, you can even play with composites.

    Now, to pick through some HaD entries for hints on $aving approaches to the badge.

  14. Coda says:

    What is that on the badge? What *should* be there is Johnny 5, cos that’s what got us all into robotics in the first place…

  15. Dougie says:

    “Wow, isn’t it interesting how many scouts and former scouts hang out here. You guys ROCK!!”

    As an Eagle Scout yourself, you ought to know that Boy Scouts is the ultimate hacker enclave. I remember making insanely powerful slingshots mounted on wooden tripods. Capture the flag was a lot more interesting when you had to avoid tennis balls flying through the woods at 70 – 80 mph.

    Eagle Scout since ’97.

  16. Brian Neeley says:

    @cmholm If I had to guess, I would say that it looks like a Mars Rover.

    I was a Scoutmaster several years back. It is really interesting some of the new merit badges that are coming out. Just a few days ago, I saw the requirements for the geocaching merit badge. They try to keep the total number of available merit badges at any one time to about one hundred and some (I think there were 114 the last time I looked). I wonder what they dropped (? beekeeping maybe).

  17. Brian Neeley says:

    Sorry, not @cmholm, I meant @Coda.

  18. Ivan says:

    This is cool. I was actually in an Explorer post (a branch of the BSA) sponsored by the GE plant here and it was all about computer and robots. I would definitely had gotten this badge in my normal troop. And since everyone is doing it: Eagle ’02

  19. maetb says:

    One of the best things I learned in Boy Scouts (Eagle ’04) was to “use your resources.” Using what you have on hand to solve a problem is about as close to “hacking” as you can get.

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