CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A group of students are lending a helping hand to assist the Cleveland Police Department Bomb Squad during the Republican National Convention.
20 Tri-C students from the Youth Technology Academy at Cuyahoga Community College spent months building the all-terrain "YTA ScoutBot," which officers will use to help keep people safe.
"This is something that can impact people's lives and save people when it comes to the RNC," said Tri-C student Iris Harris.
The battery-powered robot is roughly 12 inches tall, 18 inches long and six inches wide, making it small enough to roll under cars to inspect the undercarriage and check out potential threats.
"It felt pretty shocking, like, why ask a whole group of kids to build something that can save many people's lives? It kind of sounds crazy," Harris said.
The students have a history of success. Team 120 won the international FIRST Robotics Competition Championship this year. The students beat out 75,000 other teams from 24 countries. "We had some trials and errors, but it's been a pretty amazing year for us," said Harris.
The team's newest creation comes with its own camera. Using a monitor, officers see what the robot sees. Using the robot, the bomb squad can safely scope out anything suspicious. "If there was a bomb threat they wouldn't want to send one of their officers in, so, rather than risking a life, they can just risk a bot," said Harris.
The students put a lot of work into the robot. "It's a lot of trial and error," said student Mark Goeser. "We 3D printed some pieces and they broke a lot, so we printed them on a rubber material so they were a little sturdier."
The device isn't just durable, it's small enough to roll under objects, giving officers a different perspective as they work to keep everyone safe during the RNC.
The Cleveland Police Foundation gave Tri-C $500 to create the robot, which went toward a chassis, camera and a few other components on the robot. Students also used leftover parts they had at the YTA lab.
If you're interested in getting your kids involved at the Youth Technology Academy, visit the school's website. YTA offers college credit to high school students who engage in STEM coursework.
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