Student Spotlight: Robotics

The “It” Factor

Perhaps it was his his parents; his older sister is studying economics at Cambridge. Certainly there is substantial reason to believe his advanced ability is genetic or the result of incredible parenting. Perhaps it was the early influence of the boy scouts; he started as a Tiger Cub and became an Eagle Scout by 16.  Either way, Ryder Fitzpatrick is a rising young star, who has chosen to pursue his passions in the robotics field.


When his cub scout troop took a trip to the Engineering Expo at the University of South Florida, Ryder was 12.  Immediately, he was drawn to the hands on challenge of robotics. He joined, and spent the next 6 years developing his skills, competing, and winning. ‘Team Duct Tape’ has consistently competed in state championships for 9 years running. They have also traveled throughout the country,  competing against hundreds of other teams. Throughout, Ryder has been a leader to the rest of the team, even hosting the club in his parents garage for a time when they had no other space.

Ryder wasn’t a typical 12 year old, and he isn’t a typical 18 year old either. This fall he’ll graduate from high school, and simultaneously earn not one but two college degrees! An Associates of Science in Digital Design, and an Associates of Art in General Studies. He will continue on to complete an undergrad robotics program; either at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, or Carnegie Mellon University.


So what does the future hold for this bright young man? While the sky is the limit for a rising star like him, Ryder has a down here on earth life dream in mind. He intends to replace fast food employees with robotic  devices within his life time. Because how many burger flippers actually enjoy flipping the burgers? If a robot can do it instead, those hands would be free to fulfill their own life dream.

He also wants to be involved in building something; not just developing something, but actually building it. Whatever Ryder does, he knows he doesn’t want to be tied behind a desk for hours a day. He wants to get out in to the world and use machines, and especially robots to improve the human experience within it.



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