How this MIT Student Learned to Build Robots from Scratch

by Jay London on February 2, 2016 · 3 comments

in Learning, Research


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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Juan Andres February 9, 2016 at 11:54 pm

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




Chris Foley February 16, 2016 at 2:13 am

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


KatherineJ November 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Wow cool article. Thanks for sharing. It is interesting how programming is essential to almost every industry nowadays. This student started out by building robots and now hes going to work at rocket at spacex.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: