Who would’ve thought that the incredible evolution of technology that has happened over time would actually bring our once considered “too good to be true” ideas to life? This advancement in technology has enabled various innovations across a diverse spectrum of industries and has helped organizations reach zeniths.
One such company that is aggrandizing this continuous evolution is OKdo. Based out of London, OKdo is the global technology business from the RS group PLC. The company is focused on Single Board Computers (SBC) and the Internet of Things (IoT) providing a wide range of product offerings, alongside services including prototyping, manufacturing support, product customization, and a lot more.
Setting Industry Benchmarks
OKdo has established a world-class technology portfolio ranging from popular open-source SBCs such as Arduino to advanced development platforms from NVIDIA, Coral from Google, and NXP. In addition, OKdo offers a broad industrial IoT ecosystem and service proposition, allowing developer and enterprise customers to access a range of expansion boards, sensors and modules backed up with the services required to accelerate and scale design projects globally.
OKdo services include Rapid PCB manufacturing and assembly, design services, customization, manufacturing, logistics, and global distribution. OKdo is also passionate about supporting the education sector globally. Its partnership with The Micro:bit Educational Foundation, Lego Education, Raspberry Pi Foundation, Arduino, and other leading edtech brands allows OKdo to provide the tools and devices used in the classroom, clubs, and labs in STEM, Digital, and engineering disciplines across schools and universities around the world.
“At OKdo, we’re passionate about supporting everyone no matter where they are on their technology journey. Therefore, on our website, you will see a range of projects (sorted by skill levels) designed to inspire all abilities to get involved in technology. We also have a range of blogs, such as education research analysis and how to reduce e-waste, designed to educate people on the challenges facing the technology industry.” Says Nick Young the ardent CEO and President of OKdo.
Offering Smart and Comprehensive Tech Solutions
The OKdo product range is focused on designing a smarter world. OKdo’s product offer has been developed to provide end-to-end solutions for students, start-up innovators, professional design engineers, SMEs, and OEM customers.
OKdo offers an unrivaled Edtech, SBC, and Industrial IoT ecosystem product portfolio. A common theme across the OKdo portfolio is ‘SMART technology.’ The broad market appetite and adoption of connected devices continues to accelerate, and OKdo ensures customers can scale from prototyping with development boards and core SBC technologies such as Raspberry Pi, Coral from Google Coral and their own range of microcontroller development boards alongside sensors, antennas, enclosures, and a broad range of critical accessories.
OKdo uniquely offers customers intuitive value-added services, including prototyping, customization, software driver development, and global manufacturing backed with world-class supply chain, logistics, and distribution services. This allows OKdo to help start-up customers scale rapidly, support technology platform selection and development, compliance, flexible manufacturing, and, if needed, create a global supply chain and go-to-market strategy across EMEA, APAC, and the Americas.
Enabling a SMARTER World
Elaborating more on the ultimate mission of OKdo, Nick expressed, “OKdo is on a mission to empower the innovators now and in the future to design a SMARTER world. This is really about us harnessing the power of technology to create a greater future where students can express their creativity with technology, enabling entrepreneurs to bring new innovations to market to advance the world we live in, and visionaries can reimagine society as we move at speed towards a smarter world, that is more connected, predictive, and intuitive.”
“We are on a journey to provide inspiration and practical examples that can be applied in the real world. This ranges from how to apply technology to education, what is possible with embedded computing and how these technologies are advancing the world with a greater emphasis on sustainability through connectivity. Today we have project hubs and inspiration content, but we are rapidly evolving to make these resources much richer,” concluded Nick.
Leveraging Technology Partnerships
Since being founded in 2019, OKdo has been partnering with technology companies that focus on AI. NVIDIA Jetson Nano, Coral from Google, and Beaglebone platforms provide the ability for engineers and developers to evaluate a range of AI capabilities.
“At OKdo, we see rapid adoption of AI across a broad range of IoT deployments, specifically in performance monitoring, security optimization, and computer vision. OKdo is reviewing the opportunity to adopt AI in business data integration as we continue to optimize our data strategy globally,” adds Richard Curtin, the CTO of OKdo.
OKdo also champions companies such as Edge Impulse, which provide software, and incredible content to support students learning and development on edge and embedded machine learning.
“OKdo also recognizes the growing skills gap in AI & ML; our mission is to support the next generation of engineers by providing the tools for students to learn and develop new and essential skills.” Expresses Richard.
The Dynamic Duo
Nick Young, President, and CEO
Started his career as a software engineer after graduating with a computer science degree. Nick’s passion for technology and the evolving digital offerings led him to RS Components, where he held a variety of Digital roles over a five-year period, eventually, as Group CDO, having grown the department from tens to hundreds and revenue now surpassing £1bn annually.
Nick then took on the technology agenda in addition to his CDO responsibilities to create an engineering culture at the heart of the RS group. Moving more recently onto the executive committee of the RS Group PLC as President of OKdo.
Richard Curtin, CTO
Started his career in the automotive and HVAC industries, focused on supply chain optimization and design cycle management before. Moving into the global semiconductor distribution and software/hardware engineering services in 2004.
Richard has collaborated with many of the world’s largest semiconductor technology companies to design, manufacture and distribute development platforms, single board computers, modules, and software solutions that have supported students and professional engineers throughout the design cycle.
Richard has been synonymous with the development of the Raspberry Pi computer ecosystem globally over the last ten years and supported the development, manufacture, and global go-to-market of the innovative micro:bit. Richard is passionate about inspiring the next generation of engineers, and OKdo continues to sponsor the groundbreaking micro:bit do your:bit initiative.
Pivoting the Pandemic
Talking about the challenges that knocked on the doors of OKdo during the pandemic and how the company successfully pivoted those, Nick said, “It certainly has been an incredibly challenging time for us all. The team has been exceptional in navigating the challenges faced throughout and operated with a team-first mentality. We have always put our people first, and the recent period firmly underlined this commitment and must remain at the forefront of our thinking as we move forwards.”
Additionally, he expressed, “In many ways, the pandemic put greater emphasis on the rise and adoption of digital and technology; this is core to our offering, and we are seeing a sharp rise in demand and engagement; however, this has also compounded the demand for chips and technology which has placed a greater challenge on the supply chain over the recent years.”
Imparting the Keys to Excellence
When we asked Richard what he would advise to aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to make a name for themselves in the IoT SBC spaces, Richard had this to say, “Over the last ten years, technology has become more accessible, driven by open-source standards, engineering communities such as Design Spark, and free software tools removing barriers to entry and accelerating a wave of start-up innovation.”
“I would encourage entrepreneurs to leverage customizable platforms and leverage vast available IoT ecosystems to support product development and prototyping. OKdo is committed to ensuring we can support start-ups and innovators with a suite of products and services that will continue to drive innovation and sustainable technology adoption,” concluded Richard.
Envisaging a Better Future
While expressing the future prospects of OKdo, Nick quoted, “We already have global operations and a strong relationship with our customers. We see us continuing to leverage these core elements and establish more value-added offerings for our customers and a broader range of offerings to support the rapidly evolving needs of the IoT and SMART markets of the future.”