Our Company

Our Mission

Our mission at Augean Robotics is to solve the labor problem facing farmers by making robots like Wall-E a reality. To do this, we are starting first with a collaborative robotic platform called Burro, that helps people work more productively today, while building the base for more expansive autonomy where it is needed most.  We believe this is the path towards a future where farming is fully autonomous.

Our team includes robotic startup veterans with deep experience in computer vision, robotics, and deep learning, as well as entrepreneurs with direct experience selling and marketing high tech farm/construction machinery with some of the world’s largest companies. We get up every day excited to build the future, where robots do all tedious tasks outdoors.

Our Team

Charlie Andersen


Charlie grew up on a fruit, vegetable, and livestock farm. This experience lead him to believe that all tedious farm labor should be automated, and simultaneously to understand the many challenges that robots face in agriculture. He founded Augean Robotics after gaining experience with Case New Holland, John Deere’s largest competitor, where he reported to the head of the North American operating unit and worked on special projects across sales, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and autonomy M&A. He received a BA from Amherst College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Terry Scott

Terry Scott

Co-Founder & Chief Technical Officer

Terry leads the development of a unified technical vision, architecture, and autonomy roadmap with Augean Robotics. Prior to Augean, Terry worked as a robotic software developer with COSY, and as a design engineer/project manager with a large manufacturer supplying African railroads. Terry received his PhD from University of Oxford’s Robotic Institute where his research focused on computer-vision-based autonomous navigation and mapping, and a BSc in Electro-Mechanical Engineering from University of Capetown. He grew up in South Africa where he gained a love for machinery and robotics.

Vibhor Sood

Vibhor Sood

Co-Founder & Robotic Software Engineer

Vibhor builds Burros and his software controls them. He develops many of the computer-vision approaches to localization and autonomy with Augean Robotics. Prior to Augean, Vibhor worked as a researcher at Lehigh’s Vader Labs where he specialized in accurate infrastructure free outdoor localization, and as a software engineer at Samsung. He received a Masters in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from Lehigh University, and a bachelors degree in Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering from Manav Rachna International University in Faridabad, India.

Kevin Leiter

Chief Operating Officer

Vanessa McGrath

Chief of Staff and Director of People Operations

Vanessa is focused on building an inclusive and equitable culture at Burro. She strongly believes that happy employees make happy customers. In her role, Vanessa works closely with Burro’s C-Suite to hire, attract, and retain a world-class team of robot-enthusiasts working to solve the most pressing issues in the agriculture industry. In her role as Chief of Staff, Vanessa also handles investor relations and drives organizational structure as we continue to grow. She received her B.A from Ursinus College and J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Vanessa loves to spend time with her long-haired dachshund and is a big supporter of the vibrant Philadelphia art scene, including museums and the ballet.

Bax Smith

Vice President of Engineering

Bax leads the engineering team and is passionate about building an exceptional high-performing engineering team and culture to deliver on business objectives. He spent almost a decade working in mining automation and leading a global mining research team, and the last few years in the self-driving vehicle industry including at Motional and Uber ATG. When not at work, you will likely find Bax traveling with his family or riding one of his motorcycles.

Stephen Jablonski

Lead Mechanical Engineer

Stephen designs and builds the mechanical components of Burro. Prior to working at Augean, Stephen was a Lead Structural Engineer at SpaceX for ten years, where he worked on the mechanical components of the Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon Spacecraft. Stephen also worked at Space Systems Loral, where he contributed to the development of satellite structures. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Engineering Management from Cornell University.

Chao Wan

Electrical & Embedded Systems Engineer

Chao designs and develops the electrical and embedded systems of Burro. Prior to working at Augean, Chao obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D. Minor in Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University where his research focused on developing wireless sensor systems and computer vision based systems for structural health monitoring. Chao also worked as a research assistant in the Robotics and Automation Laboratory at Tsinghua University in China where he developed a high-speed wafer transfer robotic system. Chao received his bachelor’s degree in Automation Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology, China.

Malavika Manoj

Robotic Software Engineer

Malavika is a robotic software engineer at Burro, and develops behaviors across obstacle handling, path planning, perception, and localization. Prior to joining the company, Malavika held software engineering roles with Wells Fargo and ZF Group. She received her Masters in Robotics from University of Pennsylvania, where she focused on task allocation and navigation with multi robot systems and vision based navigation. Additionally, she received her Bachelors in Instrumentation and Control Engineering at PSG College of Technology, in Coimbatore, India. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking and dancing.

Yilun Zhang

Perception and Deep Learning Engineer

Yilun designs and builds the perception systems of Burro where he enables Burro to “see” the surroundings with deep learning and classical machine learning methods. Prior to working with Augean, Yilun developerd a deep learning-based image-LIDAR fusion framework applied to aerial/ground autonomous systems at the Kumar Lab at University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Yilun’s experience includes developing a multi-view human pose estimation system at Gemini-Huntley Robotics Research Lab at University of Minnesota. He received his Master’s degree at University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor’s degree at Northwestern Polytechnical University, China.

Shreshtha Basu

Robotic Software Engineer

Shreshtha is a robotic software engineer at Burro. She builds motion planning and perception algorithms that leverage computer vision and AI to enable Burros to better understand, travel through, and manipulate their environment. Prior to joining Burro, she developed pick and place applications using robot manipulators and perception features for autonomous vehicles for Wipro Limited, and held engineering roles with Refraction AI and Honda. She received her Masters Degree in Robotics from University of Michigan, and her BE in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, playing basket ball and singing with her guitar.

Aaron Law

Senior Software Engineer

Aaron designs and maintains Burro software, and aids in providing technical direction for the overall software architecture.  Prior to joining our team, he worked on a breadth of projects, ranging from metal embedded systems to full stack software solutions.  Most recently he worked at Raytheon developing Hardware-In-The-Loop systems, with a heavy emphasis on software architecture.  In addition to working fulltime, he is pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering with an emphasis on Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Arizona. He also holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a MBA from Arizona State University.

Abhilesh Borode

Robotics Software Engineer

Abhilesh develops Burro’s localization layer – enabling burros to know where they are using primarily vision-based algorithms . Prior to joining Augean, Abhilesh was part of the DARPA-Subterranian Challenge’s Planning and Navigation team for Colorado School of mines. He also worked on multi-camera system calibration and obstacle avoidance at the M3Robotics Lab at Colorado School of mines. He received his master’s degree with focus in Robotics from Colorado School of Mines and a Bachelor’s degree at Manipal University Jaipur, India.

Yao-Chung Liang

Robotics Infrastructure & DevOps Engineer

Yao-Chung builds the infrastructure that enables us to scale fleets of our robots. Prior to working at Augean, he conducted research on computer vision and robotics topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering Information Processing Lab at University Washington. He also developed several applications including a webRTC application during Google Hackathon 2020. Yao-Chung received his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Washington and Bachelor’s degree from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan.

Gabriel Smith

Software Engineer
Gabriel Smith is a software engineer at Burro, tasked with the challenge of maintaining and refining our ever-growing full stack code-base. Prior to joining Burro, Gabe worked on the development of Ver – a patent-pending computer vision based VR software stack for strabismus therapy, and also taught Python to middle schoolers. Gabriel received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of tinkering with robots and developing software, he enjoys watching baseball, building Lego vehicles/buildings, and reading books by authors like J. R. Tolkien and Brandon Sanderson.

Josh Tillett

Senior Robotics Engineer
Josh is a robotics autonomy engineer at Burro and is passionate about all things robots. He builds the brains of the bots which includes sensor fusion, perception, localization, path planning, and control. His prior experience in autonomy includes an aerostat for surveillance, drones for special operations, autonomous cars, and agriculture robots. Before his career in robotics, he had a career in the nuclear industry as a nuclear, electrical, instrumentation, and control engineer. Prior to that he was a nuclear reactor operator and electronics technician for six years in the US Navy. When not working he’s reading something scientific, adventuring in nature, or traveling.

Logan Danek

Software Engineer
Logan is one of our passionate Software Engineers working on User Interface and Experience as well as Software Architecture. Before working at Burro, Logan worked in software architecture internships and conducted research at Northwestern University investigating IoT device privacy, energy harvesting, and brain-computer interface design. Logan received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and Neuroscience from Northwestern University and is completing his Master’s degree in Computer Engineering at Northwestern, with a thesis on the analysis of modern neural sensing technology for use in consumer applications. Outside of work, Logan enjoys cooking, music, and spending time with his two cats, Pepita and Pringles.

Tyler Ringler

Strategy & Operations Analyst

Tyler is a Strategy and Operations Analyst at Burro helping to facilitate and oversee manufacturing, create operational procedures, and analyze field data in order to drive product reliability improvements, develop new features and functionalities, and increase customer value.  Prior to joining Burro, Tyler worked for several notable startups, including Grypmat and HyperDamping. He attended the University of Michigan receiving a Mechanical Engineering degree with a minor in Entrepreneurship. In his free time, Tyler stays active by playing golf, softball, and going to the gym.

Chun Chang

Robotics Software Engineer

Chun is a Robotics Software Engineer at Burro, currently focusing his work on dexterity. His goal is to help automate tedious work, and is doing so by helping to improve the autonomy in our technology stack. Prior to Burro, Chun was a research assistant at the GRASP lab and had robotics software internships at iRobot and Humatics. Chun obtained his M.S in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and considers himself a curious, lifelong learner with a passion for robotics.

Craig Miller

Senior Software Engineer

Craig is developing Burro’s robotic simulation and integration testing capabilities. Prior to Burro, Craig has spent over eight years developing robotic and autonomous systems at Triton Systems, designing electromechanical hardware at Princetel, and integrating complex, multidisciplinary systems at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Craig holds a Master’s degree in Robotics Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and a B.S.M.E. from Temple University. His graduate studies included coursework in robotic control systems, advanced robot navigation, and deep learning for robot perception. Craig worked with WPI’s Manipulation and Environmental Robotics (MER) Lab to implement vision-based key insertion algorithms for robotic manipulators

Chris Thiesen

Head of California Sales & Service

Chris leads our Sales and Support efforts in California.  He grew up on his family farm in the San Joaquin Valley, where he experienced from an early age the challenges and opportunities around using and implementing new technologies on farm.  He joined our team after working for Brandt Farms, a leading grower, packer, and shipper of table grapes, stone fruit, citrus, and persimmons in and around Reedley, CA.  At Brandt, he managed ranch operations at various levels, and worked implementing various early Ag technologies such as multi-spectral imaging, soil mapping, and variable rate fertility applications.  From this, he has a real world understanding of technology that does what it is sold as doing, and works reliably in the field.  Chris and his Wife Kasey have three kids (who love robots), and are heavily invested in their community.

Josue Ortega

Sales & Service Engineer

Josue grew up in Fresno, California, the son of extremely hardworking Mexican immigrant parents. Through his parents’ determination to provide their family with better opportunities Josue developed a strong interest in technology and education. This led him to obtain a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis in 2015, and to work in education, teaching chemistry at Fresno High School. He continued working in education while simultaneously obtaining his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Fresno State in 2019. Today, Josue works at the intersection of education and technology, teaching crews how to use Burros and problem solving any issues such that customers have an exceptional experience.

Angel Robles

Sales/Service + Robotic Software Engineer

Angel supports development of new autonomous functions/capabilities in the field, and also supports customers using Burros. Prior to joining the company, Angel held a variety of roles ranging from bussing tables to working in a materials testing lab and programming microcontrollers. Angel grew up in Bakersfield, where he attended Bakersfield College before transferring to UC Berkeley to earn his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He joined Burro in order to gain more exposure into the field of AI/robotics while simultaneously helping make an impact on the type of community/people he grew up around. His main academic interests include machine learning, control theory, and simulation.

Noe Toribio

Sales & Service Representative

Noe Toribio grew up in Fresno, California where he was immersed in robotics and agriculture as he participated in robotics competitions in high school and worked in the local industry including spending time working in farm fields.  He attended California State University, Fresno where he got his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology as he simultaneously worked on projects at the intersection of robotics and agriculture.

Daniel Valladolid

Sales & Service Representative

Daniel was born in Mexico, and emigrated to Delano, California when he was 10.  He began working for Sunview Vineyards at the age of 15, where he experienced most of the jobs performed in table grape production first hand while also working on special projects including integrating geographic information system, implementing drone mapping, and trials with ants.  He attended Cal State Bakersfield where he obtained my B.S. in business administration with a concentration in accounting, and joined the Burro team in order to make a difference in the community that surrounds him.

Jorge Mosqueda

Sales & Service Engineer

Jorge grew up in Bakersfield, California, to parents who emigrated from Mexico to work in the agriculture fields. In high school his parents instilled in him the meaning of hard work, and the value of higher education, by bringing him to work in the fields picking grapes, blueberries, and cherries throughout Kern County.  This value for work, and drive for education, combined with this interest in, and curiosity with electronics/technology, led him to pursue and obtain a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from CSU-Bakersfield in 2021. While in school, he simultaneously worked as an AT&T Retail Sales Consultant and as a Student Assistant in Data Research Science at CSU-Bakersfield.

Isaiah Medina

Sales & Service Engineer

Isaiah grew up in Bakersfield, California around agriculture at a young age. As a child, he was taught the value of hard work by proxy of family members who worked agricultural careers. Isaiah studies at Cal. State Bakersfield, where he receive his B.S. in Computer Science in Fall 2021, taking an interest in Software Engineering. The combination of his love for technology, hard work, and proximity to agriculture is why he loves working at Burro. In his spare time, Isaiah enjoys hikes and playing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Our Advisors

Kirk Haney

Kirk Haney

Kirk Haney is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Radicle Growth. Under Kirk’s leadership, Radicle Growth has become a market leader in early-stage ag and foodtech investing and company building and has secured top-tier financial and corporate investors. A serial entrepreneur with three exits, Kirk has raised over $200M in venture capital, private equity and corporate capital and has had three successful exits. He’s worked in technology, venture capital and ag & food his entire career and has a clear understanding of what early-stage companies need to be successful. Kirk is a proud father and is passionate about food, health and sustainability.

Adam Plotkin

Adam Plotkin

Adam Plotkin is a Partner at ff Venture Capital. In this capacity he provides targeted strategic counsel to a range of ffVC investments, with a focus on technological innovation in logistics and manufacturing, insurance, e-commerce, financial services and media. Adam has experience serving on the boards of CardFlight, Drop Loyalty, Four Mine and Sure, to name a few. Adam holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School. He also holds Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Applied Sciences, and Bachelor of Science in Economics degrees, cum laude with distinction from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania, as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a Joseph Wharton Scholar.

Camillo J. Taylor

Camillo J. Taylor

CJ is a professor at University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP lab, which he joined in 1997. His research interests focus on computer vision and robotics. His current research include work on self-localizing embedded smart camera systems and their applications to problems such as automated surveying systems, ad-hoc surveillance systems, three-dimensional reconstruction and mobile robot localization. He received his A.B. degree in Electrical Computer and Systems Engineering from Harvard College in 1988 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1990 and 1994 respectively.

Simo Kamppari

Simo Kamppari

Simo has a passion for all things technical, and has spent time at McKinsey, and Oracle. He is currently a partner at the Synetro Group where he invests in companies and provides operational support to help them succeed. He received an MBA from Harvard and has two degrees in EE/Computer Science from MIT.

John Spletzer

John Spletzer

John is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Lehigh University where he heads up the VADER Laboratory. His research focus is field and service robotics in unstructured, outdoor environments. John received his PhD from the GRASP Laboratory at UPenn, and has 20 years of experience in the robotics field. He has also been involved in local robotics startups, including serving as CTO of Love Park Robotics which was acquired by industrial sensor company IFM earlier this year.

Our Investors

We’re honored to work with a world-class group of investors.

Our Industry Partners

To ensure that our technology solves problems that are widespread across industry, and to maximize the diversity of the training data within our artificial intelligence, we work closely with two leading organizations – the California Table Grape Commission and Western Growers Association.  These organizations, which represent their industries and work to foster adoption of labor-saving technology, have helped us to pilot and refine our autonomy towards industry labor-saving needs.