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Nerdy Google inventor to share his passion for towel rods and other stuff on Thursday

James McLurkin is best known for his work with small robots inspired by ants and bees — robots that aren’t too smart individually but that collectively can accomplish a great deal. Now a Google engineer in Seattle, he won the prestigious Lemelson-Massachusetts Institute of Technology student prize in 2003. His accomplishments landed him on PBS’s “Nova” in 2005. He’ll speak at South Puget Sound Community College on Thursday evening.