Ross Atkin, 34, is a researcher, designer and engineer based in East London. He maintains his own design and development practice where he works with software developers to create new products that span the digital-physical divide for leading UK manufacturing companies including Stannah Stairlifts, TFH Special Needs Toys and landscaping manufacture, Marshalls.
In industry he has designed everything from anti-terrorism bollards for the US Embassy to cable retraction systems for Dyson vacuum cleaners. As a researcher he has focused on making streets more accessible for disabled people with projects for Guide Dogs, the Royal London Society for Blind People, The City of York, Bath Council and Transport for London.
Ross’s work has been displayed in the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year exhibition and Fast Company Magazine’s Innovation By Design Awards. He is also recognised internationally as an expert on the Internet of Things having been invited to speak on the subject at high profile technology and design conferences from San Francisco and Austin to Johannesburg and Beirut.
From an early age Ross was fascinated with making things and was lucky enough to be encouraged in this pursuit by his father, who worked in manufacturing, and two really fantastic Design & Technology teachers. He trained in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Nottingham and Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art.
Ross wanted to make the process of making more accessible to children who do not have parents in design or engineering so founded The Crafty Robot which allows anyone to build their own moving robot easily out of household products and rubbish.
Ross is inspired by all the people who let him into their lives to help him with his research, in particular the large number of disabled people who have let him follow them around on the streets.
Originally from North London, Ross lives in East London with his wife Isabel and pug Rory.