FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Build Skills with XRP

Nov 20, 2023 Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST Robotics Competition Senior Director




I'm thrilled to share a new opportunity for FIRST® teams to enhance their skills and engage with their peers and the wider community. The XRP (eXperiential Robotics Platform), announced at the beginning of July by Sparkfun and DigiKey, is a cost-effective robot designed to bolster software skills among team members. It's ideal for recruiting new teams and members, conducting workshops, running summer camps, and more.


Image source: SparkFun, CC BY 2.0


Additionally, the XRP supports WPILib, offering teams a chance to build confidence in the programming environment used in FIRST® Robotics Competition. The XRP is currently available as a beta hardware kit from both SparkFun and DigiKey, with a substantial discount for FIRST teams who request the educational or “FIRST Team” discount. Teams who have secured can also use their DigiKey Voucher from the virtual Kit of Parts for the XRP.  Due to its popularity, the XRP might sometimes be backordered for brief periods of time, but new units are continuously being made available.

WPILib provides resources to get started with XRP, and there is a discussion forum for XRP users to connect, share ideas, and discuss ways to leverage the XRP to help grow FIRST!  In addition, the XRP is now compatible with the Intro to Programming modules in Thinkscape. These modules enable students to learn Java programming basics, including command-based programming using XRP. Here are instructions to access the module.

I am excited about the potential this robot and collaboration hold, and I eagerly anticipate seeing the innovative uses our teams and partners find for it. This development is another step towards making FIRST programs more scalable, sustainable, and accessible.

Back to Blog

Add new comment