Monday, August 20, 2012
The U.S. Coast Guard based in Georgetown has a new tool in its arsenal.
But this one is not aimed at saving lives. It’s for entertaining and teaching children.
The local Coast Guard station recently purchased the toy remote-controlled boat which is modeled after a Coast Guard cutter to use at schools, festivals, in parades and at other events.
Mike Robeano, creator of the device, said he got the idea after seeing a similar robot patterned after a police car.
“I was most impressed by the way the children were drawn to this little remote control robotic cartoon character. It was at this moment that the idea of Coastie was created and I went right to work trying to find a source of funding to acquire a robotic boat,” he wrote.
He was able to create the first Coastie after receiving a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Coastie has navigation and searchlights, a rotating beacon, a siren, an air horn, and eyes and eyelids that move meaningfully. He talks, plays music, and interacts with the instructor and the children during the presentation. He even has a bilge pump that pumps water like a real boat.
“That always brings smiles and laughter to all when used,” Robeano states. “Coastie also has his own built in squirt gun that the kids just love.”
Karl Gettman of the local Coast Guard, said Coastie will be in schools this upcoming year and will be seen at the annual Wooden Boat Show on Front Street.
By Scott Harper