Ben Pirt



Went to university in Edinburgh and UCL


Two degrees in Architecture

Work History:

Onzo, Pachube, Xively



Current Job:

Make Robots!

Me and my work

I make robots for teaching children about technology

I spend most of my time designing small drawing robots that help children learn about technology, engineering, maths and programming –

I’ve been building it over the past few years and have now launched it to the public. I’ve always worked across the full spectrum of technology, from making electronics in hardware, to writing the code that runs on the hardware, right the way up to building web services that live on servers in the cloud. What I really enjoy doing is solving interesting problems because then your days are never boring.

Although I spent a long time training as an architect, I seemed to be magnetically drawn to the field of technology and have been in charge of technology for a companies that I and others have started. Architecture (and design) has been very important in defining how I approach things because thinking about the problem something needs to be designed to solve is universal.

My Typical Day

I spend most of my time improving existing robots and working on the next version

My Interview

What's your favourite food?

Hard to pick one, but if I had to it would be a good curry

What invention amazes you the most?

The Linotype ( – it’s such a complex solution it’s hard to believe it could work, but it does!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Probably launching my own company

What did you want to be after you left school?

100% an architect, then I changed my mind!

If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?

I think there’s engineering in everything so it’s hard to answer this!

What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?

What I’m currently doing

What or who inspired you to become an engineer?

My Dad and Grandad both did in equal amounts

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

If I could change one thing about the world...

My favourite CHRISTMAS LECTURE memory is:

Watching them with my Mum – she loves them (so do I)

If you could do anything, how would you hack your home?

Make it fully off grid and self-sustainable

Give us a hack we can do at home!

Measure your own energy consumption – it’s amazing what it can show you

Other stuff

Work photos: