Mylique Sutton Photo credit Project Nittany.
The creation of this robotic creature is the dream of the boys and girls at Project Nittany, a club put together last year by Anthony Trezza and Greg Kurtz, who serve as President and Vice-President respectively.
For Trezza, 19, building this robotic Nittany Lion isn’t about making themselves look good and tooting their own horns, but instead it can serve as a symbol for the capabilities of Penn State students.
“I think it’s a great project and I think it’ll definitely be a big contribution to the academic side of Penn State Hazleton showing what this campus can do and what the students can do if given the opportunity,” said Trezza.
Getting an opportunity to build the robot will come at a cost, but public relations representative Peter Poneros, 19, is certain that once the club perfects the design getting funds won’t be an issue.
“We actually haven’t brought the issue up to [SGA] because the first time we ask for funding we want to make sure that we are set. First impression is the most important. So we want to finalize the design before we bring this up to them. We don’t want to waste their time by telling them we have an idea, we want to actually give them the CAD version of the Nittany Lion design,” said Poneros.
While the designs are being perfected, fundraising is still an option and Trezza has some ideas on how Project Nittany can raise some money in the meantime.
“We’re doing the Gertrude Hawk fundraiser around Thanksgiving time and we’ll try it again towards Christmas. We are currently selling Sheetz coupons and there are plenty of people around who have extra ones who are willing to sell them for $10,” said Trezza.
Selling the idea of building a robotic Nittany Lion wasn’t hard at all. It beat out 18 other potential projects one of them, according to Poneros, was an idea that people would have loved to see come to fruition.
“Another idea was to build an escalator that would lead you from the bottom of the hill to the top of the hill. That was far too grand, you need building permits for that so that idea got scratched out really fast,” said Poneros.
The original model for the structure of the robot could be potentially scratched out as well after Chris Russo, 18, brought up a model that could be more cost and time efficient to build during a recent club meeting.
Russo was drawn to the club after spotting a sign in a hallway and after attending a meeting to satiate his interest and curiosity he found himself impressed with what the club was doing and wanted to be a part of their next step.
“I think that if we get this project up and running it could be a great donation to the university while showing what students can do,” said Russo.
Among those engineers trying to get this project up and running is Greg Oboril, 18, whose welding experience will come in handy when Project Nittany gets to building in some of the member’s personal workshops.
“I went to a Vo-Tech school for welding in High-School and then half-way through my junior year I was employed at Hydra-Tech Pumps in Nesquehoning as a welder for about two years. So I got school training and on-the-job training,” said Oboril.
Oboril’s training, along with the experience and knowledge of the other members of Project Nittany, certainly inch the dream of building this life-sized robotic nittany lion more to the side of reality.
Many would consider this a tall task claiming that these students are in over their heads, but Poneros feels that they have the ability to get this finished by the end of the spring semester, with taking it up to University Park to complete it being a backup plan, and that’s a sentiment that Russo shares wholeheartedly.
“We have a wonderful group of engineering here who are determined to get this done so I think it’s definitely possible,” said Russo.
It’ll take work and it’ll take time, but it’s work and time that Project Nittany members are more than willing to devote and it’s that passion to make their idea, and the robot, come to life that may just get them the results they’re hoping for.