Worcester comeback seems for real

Full and original article posted on CommonWealth Magazine

Pent-up demand is finally being realized in state’s second-largest city

MARS IS THE LIMIT for robotics engineer Kevin Harrington. Harrington, 32, wants to build a machine that would harvest the sun, soil, and atmosphere of the Red Planet to produce food, building supplies, and robots for human colonies in the future. “Let’s say we want to go to Mars and we want to survive on Mars with no supply chain. What do we need?” he asked. “We need a machine that can take in the raw materials in the environment.”

There’s good reason to take Harrington seriously. He is the robotics lab manager at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he’s following in the footsteps of Robert Goddard, inventor of modern rocketry and the so-called father of the space age. Goddard studied and worked at WPI and nearby Clark University.

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