A New Drone for Schooling: Hopper, from FTW Robotics

Hopper is new drone for education.

By DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian J. McNabb

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FTW Robotics, a Paramount, CA-based edtech company, recently announced the release of their Hopper drone for education. Designed to support hands-on learning, the Hopper is designed to engage students in the world of STEM by combining coding, robotics, and engineering into one integrated ecosystem centered around a UAV. At the same time, they announced the hiring of STEM industry veteran Jennifer Nicholls as their new Chief Program Officer, who comes to FTW after a 20-year stint at Mathnasium, where her role was to make STEM education more accessible to a wide variety of learners.

“Through the appointment of Jennifer Nicholls and the launch of Hopper, FTW is fortifying our team and our resolute commitment to delivering cutting-edge, collaborative technology, aiming to inspire a life-long interest in STEM and computer science, and instilling the curiosity to pursue a career in the field for learners of all ages and backgrounds,” said Daniel Mehay, COO and cofounder of FTW.

The most recent iteration of FTW’s Build | Fly | Code concept, which was developed by aerospace professionals and educators, the Hopper is designed to help students to discover how to build, fly and code from the ground up by introducing students to flight theory, mechanical design and the basics of coding with the latest drone and sensor technology. Powered by a dual-core CPU and a closed, secure software package, Hopper features robust, reusable hardware and a lens capable of advanced computer vision, including infrared and color, that can be streamed over wi-fi. Validated by 889 Compliance, the Hopper is designed to bring future-additional and STEM education opportunities to the widest possible variety of learners.

“I’m thrilled to join the FTW team,” noted Dr. Nicholls. “Up to this point, I’ve built my career around dispelling the notion that STEM and computer science are too difficult. I’ve seen firsthand that students can and will excel in this field if equipped with the right tools and given a chance. I have also seen and experienced how quickly doors open for children if they have skills in these areas. Working at For The Win, I am continuing my passion while leveraging Hopper and the most advanced technology.”

Built using constant feedback from their educational partners, FTW’s Hopper is about to be seen in more classrooms nationwide, expanding its footprint to up to 42 million potential learners.

More information on FTW Robotics and the Hopper can be found here.

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Ian McNabb is a staff writer based in Boston, MA. His interests include geopolitics, emerging technologies, environmental sustainability, and Boston College sports.


Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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