Kids Invent Stuff: Yorkshire YouTube channel responds after Netflix accused of stealing their idea

The presenters of a YouTube channel that turns kids’ creations into reality have broken their silence after Netflix was accused of stealing their format for a new show.

Ruth Amos, 32, and Shawn Brown, 31, started Kids Invent Stuff in 2017 which sees them ask children to submit invention drawings and videos.

The engineers then select an idea and set out to build a real-life version of it that actually works, while filming the whole process.

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But fans were shocked to see a Netflix advertisement for a new show called Making Fun – which is looks almost identical to their format.

One of the inventions which the team from Kids Invent Stuff created

Social media users were quick to point out similarities to the between the Netflix show and Ruth and Shawn’s channel, which has more than 54,000 subscribers.

In the advert for the show, called Making Fun, designer Jimmy DiResta and a team of experienced builders are seen fielding kids’ ideas for inventions.

American science and technology magazine Make wrote: "Today, Netflix announced “Making Fun” a new show starring a bunch of our friends from the maker community including Jimmy DiResta and more. We have to say it reminds us of Kids Invent Stuff."

But one social media replied: "Not so much Netflix 'Making Fun', more 'taking the piss' to do an all 'bearded white men' rip off of Ruth Amos's Kids Invent Stuff channel.

Ruth Amos, 32, and Shawn Brown, 31, started Kids Invent Stuff in 2017

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"They claim 3 years of parallel ideas, but Kids Invent already developed and joined YouTube in 2015."

Ruth, from Sheffield, first hit the headlines as a teenager after inventing a handrail to help those who struggle to climb the stairs.

The StairSteady is a patented design that Ruth created in her Design and Technology GCSE lessons.

And the channel she set up with Shawn has brought to life more than 70 kids inventions since 2017.

But she feels that the new Netflix Show with it's all-male line up will miss a chance to represent the diversity of the maker community and to inspire more girls to become engineers and inventors.

Ruth said: “Kids form their ideas of what they can and can’t be when they’re really young. These guys have a real following, they have a reach and influence that could be used to create much more impact."

“We’re a tiny YouTube channel funded by educational grants. We’re not a massive company. It’s hard enough to get more maker shows made. The whole idea behind our channel is to inspire the next generation.

“When I was growing up, I never saw people like me making things on TV. I didn’t see many women in engineering. It was only when I won an award that I saw people like me.

“I want every young person to be aware that being an engineer is an option to them. We’ve spent our whole adult careers speaking about STEM education. Kids Invent Stuff is so important to us."

And in a video on their channel, Ruth explained to fans that she 'accidently' became an inventor.

She said: "Growing up, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I ended up inventing something while I was at school. I won an engineering award and got thrown into this whole amazing world of engineering.

"I realise looking back now I always should have been an engineer or a maker or an inventor. But I never saw myself on the tv shows that I watched that were about making or engineering. I never saw anyone that was like me."

She added: "We want more mainstream media to see our amazing community, but it can be quite sad when that diversity of the community is not represented.

"We see how amazing and diverse that community is and we want the rest of the world to see that as well."

Shawn added: "The nice thing about big mainstream stuff like tv and streaming services is that there's an opportunity there with a bigger budget.

"When you've got big resources and there's big organisations involved there's a huge opportunity to reach more people and do things in an even more diverse way.

"I think it's frustrating when there's a missed opportunity. The bigger you're following is, the more power and the more responsibility you have to make examples and to show people just how diverse the community we're part of can be."

Netflix has been approached for a comment.