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NEWS | Dec. 5, 2017

Army Reserve Soldiers help Girl Scouts learn about robots

By By Lt. Col. Jefferson Wolfe, 7th Mission Support Command Public Affairs Officer 7th Mission Support Command

Soldiers of the 773rd Civil Support Team took their survey robot to Sembach Middle School on Sembach Kaserne Dec. 4 to help the Girl Scouts earn their robotics patch.

Sembach Juniors Troop 991 hosted the Army Reserve Soldiers for the afternoon. The three-person team demonstrated the capabilities and the functions of the Talon IV robot, nicknamed “Veronica” by the survey team.

“I think they enjoyed everything about the robot, seeing it move, being able to touch it,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick McNeely, survey team member with the 773rd CST. “I think they were just thoroughly excited about the whole idea of seeing a robot.”

The 18 fourth- and fifth-graders not only got to see the robot in action, climbing stairs and opening a door, but also were able to ask the Soldiers questions about how the robot worked.

Sgt. 1st Class Yuolanda Carey, the survey team chief, and Spc. Jonathan Boyden answered the questions and showed the girls all the things Veronica can do.

“Today we experienced a mechanical robot,” said Gabrielle Shields, a fifth grader at Sembach Middle School and member of the troop. “It can detect smoke bombs and it can smell and sense stuff … and it goes on missions and it can go under water and it can move up and down stairs.”

The robot can do amazing things, said Madison Perkins, another fifth-grade junior.

“I loved that it could climb stairs and that it has a laser and it had some cool lights on it,” she said.

The 773rd CST Soldiers stayed for the rest of the Monday afternoon meeting and helped the juniors to plan and build their robots.

“Now they have a visual of what a robot should be, and now they’ve got all these ideas of what they want to do now to make their own robots,” said Hallie Wolfe, the Junior troop leader and Sembach Girl Scouts Overseas Committee Chair.

The troop divided into four groups to build robots out of office supplies, including paper and string and cardboard boxes.

McNeely enjoyed spending the afternoon with the girl scouts.

“I look forward to maybe coming back and working with them again,” he said.

The 773rd CST Soldiers regularly reach out to the local Kaiserslautern community and the region to show what the unit can do, McNeely said.

“Anytime we get the opportunity to get outside the office and demonstrate our capabilities to different people, it’s definitely a plus,” he said.