The client need
Jack Penman developed a computer unit, called the “Jackbord”, to drive all sorts of gadgets and robots – that kids could build themselves like an intelligent ‘Meccano set’.
Part of his vision was to restore the Kiwi DIY know-how that’s fading in younger generations. He saw a lot of technology consumption in a wasteful ‘disposable culture’ without understanding where it all comes from or how it works. Jack wanted to instill some new creativity, along with resourcefulness and sustainability.
The Jackbord needed to be versatile, robust, and affordable for all school children, and suitable for teaching robotics. Jack’s colleague in their charitable trust, John Lewis, approached several engineering companies to produce a frame for the unit, but they were all too expensive. Not feasible for the accessible low-cost technology they had in mind.
But then John visited Metco and came back ‘smiling like a Cheshire Cat’ according to Jack.