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About the Makers: Robots

Makers that work with kids in robotics and from robotics industry:

Makers Christopher Myers & Anne Mayoral
Christopher is a product designer who teaches Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University. Anne is a former aerospace engineer and now a toy designer. Together they founded ArtBot Toys, with the goal to foster creativity and hands on exploration through making. By blending science and art they make technology accessible to kids at an early age. You might have seen their robots spinning around and drawing gorgeous spiral patterns in our Maker Faire @ The Tech gallery this past summer.

Maker Karl Wendt
Karl Wendt is a Rothenberg doctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He has focused on creating systems that support hands-on leaning and building projects that increase student motivation in science, technology, engineering, and math. Prior to becoming an educator, he worked as an industrial designer, earning several patents for innovations in product design and engineering. As a teacher, his students created unique robotics projects that have been featured on the BBC and at Maker Faire @ The Tech.  He is currently completing his doctoral residency at Khan Academy by building and testing low-cost robotics projects like Bit-zee

Maker Sharon Marzouk
Sharon is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Woodland School with a passion for design thinking. She has led many robotics programs for kids, from Wizbots to being a mentor at Hack the Future.   She partnered with Willow Garage to develop and lead the PR2 program at The Tech.  You might have gotten to program with Sharon if you came to The Tech for the PR2 robot exhibit. She's also started which promotes the educational robot Thymio- a great robot to get kids into robotics and programming.  She plans to continue growing to encourage robotics education and provide resources, products and educational material to kids and parents.
Sharon has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and tinkers in art, photography, traveling, entrepreneurship, and creating just about anything.

Maker Aaron Carrano
Aaron Carrano is a product manager with a background in mechanical engineering and has been working in the medical robotics field for over 13 years at both Intuitive Surgical (da Vinci Surgical System) and Accuray (CyberKnife Radiosurgery System). Aaron is passionate about discovering unmet needs and translating them into product features that delight users. He is especially excited when it comes to thinking about how new breakthrough technologies can be integrated into surgical robotic systems to create compelling experiences for the user. Aaron finds it incredibly rewarding that the products he helps develop save peoples’ lives on a daily basis.  You can connect with Aaron on Twitter: @acarrano.

Maker Andra Keay
Andra Keay is a robot startup evangelist, Founder of Robot Launchpad, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics and CoFounder of Robot Garden, a new robotics hackerspace. She obtained her MA in Human-Robot Culture/Cultural Theory at the University of Sydney, Australia in 2011, building on a background as a robot hobbyist, STEM educator, computer network administrator, software developer, web site designer and film-maker. She graduated as an ABC technical operations trainee in 1986 and obtained a BA in Communication from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Australia, in 1998. Andra has been running science, computing and robotics workshops since 1995, with a focus on empowering people to adapt to changing technology. She is also children’s robotic team coach. Since moving to Silicon Valley in 2011, Andra has founded Robot Launchpad, an early stage accelerator for robot startups, is the inaugural Managing Director for Silicon Valley Robotics, an emerging robotics cluster and has also cofounded Robot Garden, a space for makers and hackers with an interest in robotics.

Young Makers

Maker Jeremy Lee, representing Quixilver FIRST Robotics team from Leland High School
Jeremy Lee is a member of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 604 at Leland High School in San Jose, where he enjoys working on the robot's electronics and the team's website. At age 8, he started building Lego robots when he joined a FIRST Lego League robotics team. Jeremy is interested in studying computer science and electrical engineering. About FRC Team 604: Team 604 builds a 120 lb robot for each year's FRC competition. Past competitions have included basketball and soccer robots. For 2013, the team is currently developing a Frisbee throwing robot for the March 2013 competition. For more information about the team, visit the 604's website:

Suzannah Osekowsky, representing Space Cookies FIRST Robotics team from NASA & Girl Scouts
Suzannah is a team co-captain for the Space Cookies robotics team of Moffett Field, California. The team participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition, an international high-school robotics league. The Space Cookies are an all-girls team that works out of the NASA Ames Research Center and annually competes at the regional and international level.

Maker Joey Hunt, representing Maximum Distortion VEX Robotics Team
We are team 1935E, entered in the VEX Robotics Competition. The VEX organizes these competitions for all children entering middle school up to seniors in High School. Our own team is Maximum Distortion, comprised of three members: Daniel Adams (middle school), Joey Hunt (high school) and Phillip Kirouac (high school). Daniel is an enthusiastic new robotics member.  Joey Hunt has participated on several FIRST Lego League teams. Philip Kirouac is the team lead and seasoned VEX competitor. VEX provides a designated group of parts that can be purchased from many locations, and used in any of the robotics competitions. This is to create an even field between the teams, so that no one team has access to more advanced parts than another team. Teams build and program a robot to complete a task revealed each year. This year’s competition is called “VEX Sack Attack.” The robots’ goal is to transport 5” square bean bags from the ground into various scoring locations. The robots involved are limited to the use of 10 motors, and the robot must begin play within a size limit of an 18” cube. Due to these tight restrictions, much thought must go into the design of each robot, to ensure both maximum ability and maximum efficiency. In addition, a 20 second “Autonomous Period”  is given before matches, so careful consideration must be given to generating a code to control the robot during this period. As such, our team meets most every Monday for three hours or so to discuss strategy and robot design, and to construct robot elements. On the days leading up to a competition we meet more frequently. If a robot is successful in competitions, the team directing it may graduate from Regional to State, National, or even International competition levels. Our team is very grateful to be able to compete in this exciting and rewarding program.

Maker Moderator:

Rick Schertle
Rick has taught middle school language arts and social studies the past 20 years in San Jose where he lives with his wife and young son and daughter.  As a kid, he and his dad tinkered at many things and become experts as none, but had a lot of fun along the way.  Trying to practice what he teaches, Rick writes for MAKE Magazine and several projects he designed for the magazine include the Compressed Air Rocket (Volume 15) and Folding Wing Glider (Volume 31).  Joined by thousands around the world, this past summer Rick kicked off Maker Camp at the New York Hall of Science. Rick brings high flying rocket fun to Maker Faire every year and along with his wife and kids, loves all things that fly.  Along with making stuff, Rick and his family enjoy ultra-budget world travel which has taken them all over Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America.