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IEEE-USA Launches New Robotics Comic Book Series

By Paul Lief Rosengren

Rover Boy Gets Steamed Up!

Rover Boy Gets
Steamed Up!

FREE to IEEE Members
Non-Members: $2.99

More Info

At what age should you start to expose young people to the field of engineering?  Harry T. Roman clearly believes that no age is too young, and he is helping parents and grandparents do just that by providing a new series of illustrated, comic-style e-books on engineering — for all ages to enjoy. Published by IEEE-USA, the first in the series is Rover Boy Gets Steamed Up!

The book follows Rover Boy, an environmental robot, and his environmental engineer pal, Jen, as they tackle the problems of cleaning up environmental waste. The grime-fighting duo faces such obstacles as preventing accidentally spreading waste; testing new equipment that steams surfaces, so pollutants are pulled from asphalt; and responding when the steam affects Rover Boy’s delicate electronics.

Roman’s choice of topic is no surprise — he was honored as Inventor of the Year in 2005, by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, for his application of robots in hazardous environments. In this story’s introduction — the author emphasizes that this story, and those that will follow, are based on actual robot applications in the utility industry — updated to reflect current issues and problems.

In the end, Rover Boy and Jen successfully collect and dispose of the waste, and they are off on their next adventure.

Roman explains that he wrote this story “to entertain… and demonstrate how we can use robots in the service of humanity, performing real-life tasks.”  He also says it is meant to illustrate “how engineers (and their created technologies) can provide service and value to humanity.” Roman believes robotics, including those that incorporate advanced artificial intelligence, have the “potential for doing good in our world; and that engineers are responsible for wielding that good.”

While these messages and goals are lofty, perhaps the real value of reading Rover Boy Gets Steamed Up! with your children or grandchildren, is letting them see your excitement about solving problems, and the enjoyment you have practicing in the engineering profession.

Rover Boy Gets Steamed UP! is available free for IEEE members at the IEEE-USA Shop.  Non-members pay $2.99. Also available at the IEEE-USA shop are books from Harry T. Roman’s five-book series on engineering activities for the classroom (Book 4 is on Robotics), as well as his numerous books on various other engineering topics — from public speaking and publishing your work — to honing your team leadership skills. Roman has plans for at least two more engineering comic books in this series.

Roman is an accomplished engineer and lifetime educator. He spent 36 years in Public Service Gas and Electric’s R&D department, and holds 12 U.S. Patents. In 2006, IEEE honored Roman with an Outstanding Engineer award.

The author’s passion for engineering, and all things STEM-related, shine through in all his writing — as does his love for education. Roman has taught management courses at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT); and he has worked with schools around New Jersey, bringing the excitement of real-world problem-solving into the classroom. The New Jersey Technology Education and Engineering Association named Roman a Distinguished Technology Educator; and IEEE has honored him with a Meritorious Achievement Award for developing continuing education products for IEEE members. Roman spends many hours in the classroom, working with teachers and students in West Orange, Montclair and Livingston, N.J., and conducting special student project team challenges. For the past three years, he has taught graduate courses at Montclair State University, where he co-teaches a course on applying STEM techniques in the classroom.

Roman is a great admirer of Thomas Edison; and he also serves as an advisor/author to the Edison Innovation Foundation, and is a docent/special lecturer at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, in West Orange, NJ.


Paul Lief Rosengren

Paul is the coauthor of In the Time of Covid: One Hospital's Struggles and Triumphs. He worked for more than three decades in corporate communications at NBC, PSE&G, BD and in state government. He has a Master’s in Public Policy from The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard; and an undergraduate degree in political science from Dickinson College.

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