About Us

Robot Garden is a community workshop (501c3). We provide infrastructure so that people can engage in and collaborate on technology projects. We promote innovation and interest in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) by using robotics and creative or artistic projects to inspire and educate.

Robot Garden may be the first robotics themed makerspace in the world and will be the first makerspace open to the community in the Tri-Valley part of the East San Francisco Bay Area. We plan to make available all the tools makers have come to love such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons and oscilloscopes. Members can work on all manner of technology and art projects, not just robots. In addition, we will have unique robotics resources not found at any previous makerspace.

“makerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects. In short, it is a real location (opposed to an online meeting place) to gather with like-minded people and hack” (Hackerspaces.org, 2010)

Child and robot blocksRobots are a catalyst for excitement and education. We are a community that seeks to promote innovation, creativity, learning, personal and community development and the creation of tangible new technology through collaboration, classes, and by providing resources for our members and the wider community.

By fostering open source software and hardware projects, we encourage development of technology that benefits society. We ask our community to always ‘be excellent to each other’, as Noisebridge describes it. We are already hosting events and will continue to offer classes, and host hack-a-thons, competitions, seminars and concerts among many other activities.

Organizational Structure

Our core team is growing and you are welcome to join us.


  • President: Tom Manger, Consultant and Director of IT Infrastructure
  • Vice President Jim Berry, Retired Sandia Nat’l Labs Computer Science, Engineering & Cyber Security Manager, Former Head Engineering at POC Medical Systems, Former Director at Aegify Cyber Security, Director at Velocitos Medical Info Curation HealthFeed
  • Chief Collaboration Officer: Andra Keay, Founder of Robot Launchpad, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics
  • Chief Program Officer: Fred Douthit, Mobile Developer and J2EE Architect.
  • Chief Technology Officer: Daniel Casner, Robotics Engineer at Anki and embedded systems consultant.

Board of Advisers

  • Robotics Advisor: Maynard Holliday, Senior Engineer RAND Corporation, US Govt Advisor for Autonomy, and involved in President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative to increase STEM opportunities for all young people across the country
  • Makerspace Advisor: Madelynn Martiniere, Director of Community at Fictiv, cofounder Spark Plug Labs, The Idea Engine
  • Operations Advisor: Stefani Pellinen-Chavez, Chief Operation Officer, Ivaldi Group, Co-Founder of Type A 3D Printers
  • Startup Advisor: Brandon Cardwell, Executive Director at i-GATE Innovation Hub
  • Non-Profit Advisor: To Be Determined


Robot Garden was incorporated as CORP 3547502  EIN 46-1390546 on 11-30-2012. We are an incorporated non-profit organization (501c3) registered with the Registry of Charitable Trusts (CT0209525) and operate according to these bylaws.


Robot Garden could not exist without contributions from our generous sponsors who contribute to the culture, education and vitality of the Tri-Valley through their support of Robot Garden. If you are interested in sponsoring us, please look at our sponsorship prospectus or just send us an email.

i-GATE i-GATE is our primary partner and is providing space for the Robot Garden @ i-GATE programming.
Innovation for Green Advanced Transportation Excellence, is a regional public-private partnership designed to support small businesses and maximize the economic potential of green transportation and clean-energy technologies.


Sandia National Laboratories Sandia National Laboratories has helped us immensely with the volunteer efforts of many staff and financing to buy our first equipment. Please checkout their website for more information and checkout careers at Sandia, especially for electrical, mechanical or systems engineers.


Atlassian Atlassian Inc. for granting us an open source license of Confluence to run our Wiki.


EMH Studios is a 3D CAD, 3D modeling and graphic design services company and creator of the OmNom Project plastic recycler for 3D printing. They have helped us with equipment donations and 3D printing instruction.


EZ Robot :) EZ-Robot makes building robots easier so you can get on with the programming. They have donated some of their hardware to us so come give it a test drive (or program).


TurtleBot TurtleBot is a low-cost, personal robot kit with open-source software. With TurtleBot, you’ll be able to build a robot that can drive around your house, see in 3D, and have enough horsepower to create exciting applications. We have been lucky enough to receive one of the original TurtleBots so come give programming it a try or use it as a platform to develop your robot arms, tools or other accessories!