Learning Heroes: Woodie Flowers & The Robot Games

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Woodie Flowers & The Robot Games

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2021 Summer Program

Woodie Flowers was a mechanical engineer and professor at MIT. He was also a gifted practical designer who reengineered engineering education. In his Introduction to Design and Manufacturing class, he introduced contests that challenged students to build robots to solve problems. Other engineering schools followed Flowers’ lead in making practical building an important part of learning. The FIRST Robotics and VEX Robotics Competitions are extensions of his vision.

Construct a small robot with a wired remote control. Adapt this robot with specialized arms that respond to fresh challenges each day: steal bacon, pop balloons (balloon-acy), pull in a tug of war, fly a micro kite, gather eggs, blow bubbles, and more.

Woodie Flowers passed away in October 2019. On Friday, these robots will march in a Second Line parade, a New Orleans tradition for celebrating memory. (Professor Flowers was born in Louisiana.)

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