Campus was buzzing last month when 60 first grade students visited the Grohmann Museum for the unveiling of Bella the Honey Bee robot. Electrical engineering student Tim DeLeo designed and built the robot for SHARP Literacy, with support from the Office of Servant-Leadership.
The interactive honey bee robot is based on “A Busy Bee: The Story of Bella the Honey Bee,” a book recently published by SHARP Literacy. DeLeo designed the robot to help children learn and have fun at the same time. The robot is three feet tall and has a 10.5 inch LCD display screen with an 11 button capacity touch pad. Buttons can be depressed to ask questions, learn about bee parts, learn about the waggle dance and more. The robots antennas and wings move and the rear end shakes which illustrates a bee’s waggle dance. There are also LEDs on the mandibles, pollen basket and stinger. DeLeo collaborated with local sculptor Tom Queoff who donated his time and developed a urethane mold of the bee which produced the translucent exterior or shell. Queoff is an internationally acclaimed sculptor.
DeLeo, an Air Force veteran and electrical engineering student at MSOE, developed the interactive robot as part of an independent study class called Project Management and Servant Leadership. The course blends project management with the tenants of servant leadership. Funding for the robot was provided by the Brady Corporation Foundation Inc., and DeLeo collaborated with Chris Thuss, a project management consultant from Brady Corp. This was one of 23 Brady-funded projects last year at MSOE that promoted servant leadership in project management and benefitted the community. The interactive display includes information about a bee’s life, based on the book’s content.