Nov 27, 2019
27th Nov 2019 – Shadow mourns the passing of company’s Director, Nicholas Singer
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we report the passing of our beloved Director, Nicholas Singer. He passed away peacefully on 27th November 2019.
Nick had been integral to Shadow, with roots to Shadow’s humble beginnings in 1987 when we began as a hobbyist group in our Founder’s (Richard Greenhill) attic in London. He was a banjo-playing technical design engineer, starting out as an unpaid volunteer while utilising his BSc in Physics and specialising in electronics hardware design.
Nick was an all round do-gooder and instilled this within Shadow: creating robots for good, robots that can solve real-world problems. When we formally registered as a company in 1997, Nick was pronounced Director.
Before and even during Shadow, Nick had an eventful life with many ventures. It’s not generally known that Nick had won a scholarship to Alleyn’s college in Dulwich in London. He was a BT engineer from 1959 to 2007 (48 years!).
In the 80’s, Nick joined the research division of British Gas. He was researching project areas such as mains-borne and other automatic meter reading systems, and was lucky enough to find a very sympathetic Section Leader in Fred Ward, who allowed Nick the flexible working time that he needed to play his banjo during ‘working hours’ (including a morning gig to help promote the opening of a new ASDA store in Harrow!)
Nick would play at many gigs, giving his time and potential earnings to play at Charity Events to raise funds for various local and national charities such as Macmillan Nurses and the Breast Cancer appeal.
In the early 1980’s, Nick was also the Director and Chairman of the Bromley Group of the International Voluntary Service (IVS). He ensured that underprivileged and disabled children in South East London and Kent received the best support available. He managed large scale building projects in IVS, part of SCI, and Work Camps which catered for volunteers from all over the world. The projects were varied and included: Civil Engineering projects such as building access for wheelchairs around Hospitals in the area, technical design and management such as organising groups to design and build special toys and aids for disabled kids.
Around 2012, Nick also shared his knowledge and gave technical support to students of the robotic design group at Imperial College as an on-going volunteer basis.
Despite his other ventures, his passion and devotion for both the Shadow Robot Company and his music stayed strong right up until the end. Before he passed, he was still involved in the company and had played his banjo the following Thursday (as per usual) at Greenwich.
23 years of hard work, problem solving, guidance and excitement for robotics can give you an indication of the type of man Nick was. We should also add that he was the type of man who would stroll merrily into the office with a brown paper bag full of jam or custard doughnuts (it was ice lollies in the summer) for all the staff to enjoy.
He absolutely loved the song “Over the Rainbow” and would get up and sing whenever and wherever it was played. In his honour, we’d like to dedicate this cover of the song, played on the instrument he loved, the banjo.
Nick’s brain is being donated to brain tissue bank for research on motor neurone disease. His jovial nature, love for the banjo and utmost dedication to Shadow will be missed greatly. He will be remembered as the outstanding pioneer of technology, an enthusiastic Director and a wonderful person.
Nick playing at a colleague’s wedding