The MRO Technology Expo original the “Malta Robotics Olympiad” was started in 2010 by Mr. Keith Aquilina as part of the EMBED digital education conference organised by the Ministry for Education and Employment in Malta. in 2012 the MRO was annexed as a separate event which mainly consisted of one event, the LEGO® Robotics Competition with about 10 teams competing. At the time the venue for the MRO was the “Bocci Drome” at the Corradino Sports Complex.
In 2013 the idea was floated that the MRO should open for the public for a couple of hours to check out the robots the students were working on (during the day). There were about 50 people in attendance in all. The following year in 2014 Mr. James Catania joined the organising team and floated the idea that the MRO should open for one evening so that parents and friends can visit the students competing and visiting schools should have a couple of workshops to visit during the day. There were a total of 5 exhibitors and 1 3D printer on-site.
Following the Event in 2015 there was a request to change the modus operandi for the MRO by the Directors and the team got dismantled. Mr. James Catania took ownership of the Malta Robotics Olympiad for the first event in 2015. The Malta Robotics Olympiad had a new vision to grow in strength, however, this was aided by a happy accident. By mistake, the booking for the “Bocci Drome” (a very small venue) was confused with the “Main Court” at the Corradino sports complex a venue 5 times the size. Mr. James Catania also decided that the venue should be open for the whole evening for visitors. The event was a huge success, with over 20 exhibitors and over 2000 people in attendance on a single evening. A retracted sponsorship deal two weeks before the event almost ruined the MRO for good, however, GO p.l.c. stepped in with a €2000 donation which made all the difference In 2016 Mr. James Catania along with Mr. George Camilleri and Mr. Keith Galea created the first-ever “Star Robot” for the MRO which was the 3rd in the world fully-funcitonal BB-8 replica from the StarWars® universe with the help of the BB-8 Builders Club.
In 2017 the MRO was moved to the largest venue available on the Maltese Islands, the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’Qali. This gave a paradigm shift for the MRO with over 5000sqm 50 exhibitors and 4000 visiting students and 14,000 visitors, for the first time the event was open for two days, namely on a Friday and a Saturday.
From 2018 till today the MRO saw a yearly steady increase in budgets, marketing, exhibitors and visitors. In 2018 the MRO saw a huge leap in re-branding and has changed its name from the Malta Robotics Olympiad to the MRO: Technology Expo. The MRO is now much more than a robotics competition and brings together, Robotics, Technology, Design, Consumer Electronics, Careers and a total of 6 big events under one roof. The MRO in 2020 has become the home of the official Malta:MakerFaire®