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Robotics Seminar Series: 15 Years of the Finch Robot

Tom Lauwers, Founder and CEO
BirdBrain Technologies

The Finch is a small, programmable robot designed to support, computer science education from kindergarten to college. This presentation will explore the entire history of the Finch, from ideation in 2005, through NSF-funded university research project, to commercial product that has reached upwards of 500,000 students. I will discuss the reasoning behind the technical, pedagogical, and commercialization choices made along the way. The talk will wrap up with a discussion of the future of educational robots and a demonstration of the soon to be released Finch Robot 2.0.

Tom Lauwers is Founder and CEO at BirdBrain Technologies, located in Pittsburgh, PA. He seeks to design educational tools that catalyze positive making, coding, and engineering learning experiences in the classroom.

Tom received a Ph.D in robotics in 2010 from Carnegie Mellon in part for his work designing the Finch Robot and Hummingbird Robotics Kit. Tom's research was founded on engaging all students, regardless of background, in robotics and engineering, and BirdBrain's products continue this mission. Tom resides in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood with his wife, two kids, cat, and a small army of robots. He would be an invaluable ally in the event of a robot uprising.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 10:00am to 11:00am

Rogers Hall, 226
2000 SW Monroe Avenue, Corvallis, OR 97331

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering
Contact Name

Dylan Jones

Contact Email

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