An MIT Alumni Association Publication

How this MIT Student Learned to Build Robots from Scratch

  • Jay London
  • 2

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Screenshot via Fusion Media

Patrick McCabe '16 might have the coolest gadgets on campus: an  electric solar tricycle,  a nano-sumo fighting robot, a computerized Etch-a-Sketch, and nearly-unbeatable Connect Four Robot.

And better yet, they're all homemade creations, thanks in part to online tutorials and a self-teaching mindset. McCabe was recently profiled in a video with Fusion Media, where he discusses his love for building robots and showcases a few of his inventions in Bldg. 26-100.

“Building robots has really taken me to my dream college, MIT, I’ve gotten internships at robotics startups, I’ll be at SpaceX building rockets. Learning how to write code, use electronics, design circuits, it’s the basis of a lot of other technologies. I really hope everyone just goes out in the world and builds more robots. I think more robots in the world is just going to make a more entertaining and interesting world.”

McCabe, a senior, plans to join a San Francisco startup after graduation. The Tampa Bay native's website,, has a comprehensive list of his own robotic inventions, including the Useless Machine (true to its name), and the useful Mailman robot, which won the 2014 MASLAB Robotics Competition.

H/T to Fusion's Sam Ford SM '07 for sharing Patrick's video.

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Chris Foley

Tue, 02/16/2016 1:13am

Juan I am incredibly intereted in robotics. You caught my interest because i'm going to ecuador soon. are you there now, or just from there? anyway please just shoot me a line on my site's contact form i'd love to chat

Juan Andres

Tue, 02/09/2016 10:54pm

Urgent from Ecuador dears friends of MIT

I am Teacher of Computer Sciences in a poor School of Ecuadorm and I need your colaboration for elaborate Robots but very economics please



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