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12 Dec 2016, 11:01

How modern inventors are changing peoples lives

 Image source BBC

The Big Life Fix

The first thing to mention about The Big Life Fix is that this is a must see show. If you missed the first episode then view it from catch up or on BBC iPlayer. I actually watched it twice, for me it was great to see talented people from the Makerspace viewing problems from an engineering and design perspective, and then applying their knowledge to provide truly innovative and life changing solutions. 

I have been to a few Maker Fairs recently and this show captures the key elements of the maker movement.

With this show there is inspiration in two forms. The first is from James and Emma, individuals who are determined not to allow their condition to dictate who they are. Both are talented people, James from the world of Photography and Emma from the Design world.

 James and Jude trial the first prototype camera attachments - Image source BBC

Second are the fixers, Jude and Haiyan, creative thinkers who apply their knowledge to problem solving. They remove the limits of conventional thinking to determine and engineer solutions.

What comes across during the show is that the solutions are there waiting to be discovered. To testament this, I reference Jude's solution for James; the young photographer who has problems holding and operating his camera. Jude employed 3D printing, foot switches, Arduino boards, power convertors, a specially designed APP and a host of other devices to trial and error the solution.

What we see in the show from Jude is someone who can rationalise the problem, adapt and apply. For instance the battery life for the camera wasn't long enough for James's requirements. Watching this, I'm thinking change the battery, this is where someone like Jude steps in and decides, actually, why don't we just run the camera through the wheelchair power source.  Let's use a power convertor and transform the voltage down to the camera voltage, it will last for as long as James is out in his wheelchair. Simple yes, but I didn't think of it right away, in hindsight maybe I should have, this why the fixers are to be admired.

Jude showing the power convertor - image from BBC

Jude himself is a remarkable person and is seldom without his portable design kit, within which are cardboard, paper, elastic bands, glue guns and more. This allows Jude to design on the go and it's amazing to see him in action.

Find out more about Jude and the projects he's involved in by clicking here.

To view the trailer for the show click here

I encourage you all to catch this show.


Favourite things are Family, Music and Judo. Also, I have the ability to retain and quote useless facts, something that pleases me but can annoy others. My engineering hero - Isambard Kingdom Brunel

12 Dec 2016, 11:01


December 12, 2016 10:02

I have had the pleasure of working with Jude Pullen and Ryan White (RLab - Reading UK HackSpace) on some awesome hacks! The most memorable of which being our project to send a Superman action figure into space a couple of years ago for RS Components and Mattel Toys. This amazing and emotional filled new BBC2 TV series shows how the power and creativity of Makers and Engineers can enhance the lives of people and communities! My father suffered from Parkinson's for years and I'm happy to share with everyone that this heart warming show just made a grown man cry! I can't wait to see the next episode! If your outside of the UK, hopefully this will be coming soon to a BBC service in your region, but for now, you can check out some highlights via Jude's website referenced above and on You-tube.