Launch of XRP
Less than a year after unveiling the new XRP robots at the 2022 FIRST Global Challenge, David Rogers (DEKA Research and Development Corp.) and Brad Miller (Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)) officially launched the XRP program at Friendship Technology Preparatory High as part of a commitment to help equip the school with XRP robots and a state-of-the-art 3D print farm.
The XRP is an open-robotics platform designed to promote STEM education by providing a simple, inexpensive, and easy-to-build robot with a free, open curriculum to begin your robot-building journey. Part of XRP’s mission is to increase STEM education equity by “changing the paradigm for hands-on robotics education around the world by dramatically reducing cost, expanding use, and enhancing curriculum support for teachers,” says David Rogers, DEKA’s chief development officer. To accomplish this task, XRP has partnered with several industry leaders like SparkFun, DigiKey, Raspberry Pi, and more to ensure that XRP is not only affordable and accessible but also high-performing and highly configurable.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Visits
To mark the occasion, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attended the launch at Friendship Tech, meeting with students and seeing the XRP kits live in action firsthand. PM Sunak’s attendance signified the US and UK’s deep commitment to STEM education as a global strategy.
Friendship Tech & NOVA Labs
The UK Prime Minister wasn’t the only guest in attendance. Friendship Tech welcomed Newton2, a FIRST Robotics Competition team out of NOVA Labs in Virginia, to share in the experience and discuss potential collaborations around robotics, XRP, and STEM education opportunities. It’s inspiring to see the teamwork, collaboration, and creative problem-solving displayed by these young robotics engineers!