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Collaborative with Spencer Krause

Collaborative with Spencer Krause

By Spencer Krause
Spencer Krause is a research and development specialist with over 20 years of experience building robots. In his career, Spencer has helped dozens of companies bring technologically advanced products to market.

Collaborative with Spencer Krause aims to give viewers and listeners an inside look at remarkable individuals who advance the state of science, technology, and commerce. "War stories," philosophical debates, explanations of how things work, and a raw unfiltered look into the realities of working in tech are all on the table.

Join us today. You'll probably learn something new.
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CWSK - E27 -The Great Shakedown, Featuring Ricardo Olivarez
Thank you for joining Spencer and Ricardo again for another intriguing conversation. Ricardo is a Veteran NASA Engineer and Manager, and we always enjoy having him on.    We are living is a unique time in history. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on global supply chain, and it is making it difficult for companies, labs, and agencies to acquire supplies which would normally be no problem to get.    One supply which is in short demand is microchips. Not even NASA is safe from the consequences. In this episode, NASA Program Manager Ricardo Olivarez gives a one-of-a-kind inside account of what it is like trying to secure a chip that is in limited production. Please comment if this effects you as well.
October 17, 2021
CWSK - E26 - Operation Desert Storm 30th Anniversary Special, Featuring Stephen Antolich
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm. In 1991, Iraq invaded Kuwait in order to get access to their oil fields. What followed was one of the most decisive counter-offensives of all time. 35 countries fought in order to restore Kuwait's independence. Explosion-Proof Robot Specialist, Stephen Antolich was one of the people who fought and served to help secure this outcome.   We usually tell figurative "war stories" on CWSK, but in this one-of a-kind episode Stephen tells literal war stories about the 3 conflicts he has been involved in as well as what caused him to join up, what he went through becoming a Marine, what he learned from the experience, and how fighting with the Corps has shaped his life to this day.    If you stick with us, you're going to hear some disturbing yet interesting stories that will keep you hanging off the edge of your seat. In true CWSK style, we also discuss tangential subjects ranging from religious philosophy to the relative size of the universe. This is admittedly a departure from CWSK's usual format, but I think you'll agree that its a good one.
October 10, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E25 - Craig Markovitz (Entrepreneur / Educator)
Join us for a chat with entrepreneur and educator, Craig Markowitz about  his journey of becoming a successful business executive. In this one we  dive into some interesting conversation, and Craig shares some great  advice for anyone, entrepreneur or not!  In early 2016, Craig Markovitz and his partners sold their robotic  surgery company, Blue Belt Technologies for $275 million to Smith and Nephew. Craig now teaches and mentors business students and local  startup founders including, on occasion, Spencer Krause.   One of Craig's current goals as a mentor is to use his success to guide  the next generation of innovators. Craig is one of the most  down-to-earth people we have ever met, and it was an absolute pleasure having him on. Thanks for joining us this week on Collaborative with Spencer Krause.  Craig's CMU Bio Head over to to check out all the remarkable differences the Richard King Mellon Foundation has been making with Craig's support and others.
October 3, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E24 - Uriel Eisen (Inventor / Entrepreneur)
Forbes 30 under 30 honoree Uriel Eisen and SKA Custom Robots and Machines Director of Product Development Spencer Krause have known each other for over a decade. In this time, Uriel has consistently impressed Spencer with his industriousness, intelligence, and admirable ability to follow through on most tasks he sets his mind to. Uriel has worked to bring several products though production- including water filters for the developing world, PPE face shields, space suits, and most recently a line of lightweight, high-performance buckles for the adventure sports market. Uriel's Research and Development portfolio is equally impressive with numerous boats, soft goods, machine tools, and small-batch processes. This interview is a lot of fun, so please be on the lookout for great things from Uriel. This is only a fraction of his press so be sure to look up "Uriel Eisen" on your favorite search engine for more:
September 26, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E23 - Constantine Greenias (Magnet Baron)
Join us as we talk to Constantine Greenias about his business, the Magnet Baron. The Magnet Barron sells thousands of products into the hobby sector every year. This is a bit different from our usual features so please don't miss it if you want a perspective into how a highly organized entrepreneur makes a living on high-volume sales of consumer product.
September 19, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E22 - Ana Kraft (Product Startup CEO)
Xena Workwear was the first company to market with an attractive and comfortable safety shoe for women. As Xena's CEO, Ana is responsible for being the face of the company and driving many of the high level decisions which dictate the company's operations and product mix.  In this fun conversation between Ana and Spencer, Ana explains some of the entrepreneurial journey Xena has gone through as well as how her personal experiences as a woman in industry have informed the design of Xena's innovative line of products- past, present, and future.  Check out Ana's article in Forbes here:  Check out Xena's badass products at Please subscribe and show us some love!
September 12, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E21 - Ken Yesh (Technical Product Manager)
Join us as we speak with Product Manager Ken Yesh about his work on advanced automotive technologies.  Ken's work with Ford, Uber ATG, and more recently, Root, have endowed him with a valuable set of skills and experiences. In this episode, Ken and Spencer talk politics, philosophy, and reflect on the pandemic. This is a low key episode, but still pensive.  If you like this and want more, please subscribe. That way, you'll be the first to know when we release more awesome content! You can additionally check out full videos of the episodes on YouTube at
September 5, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E20 - Corey Rasmussen (Mechanical PE / Roller Coaster Guru)
Join us as we speak with talented and experienced Mechanical Engineer, Corey Rasmussen about experiences designing aerial lift trucks for the power electronics industry, educating the next generation of engineers by releasing videos and course material, and how his backyard roller coaster stacks up against some of the most thrilling production roller coasters in existence. Corey is an all around great guy with an excellent sense of humor. His experience, humility, and insight are a treat.    Check out Corey's courses here   and engineering works here   Please subscribe for more awesome content!
August 29, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E19 - Jorgen Pedersen (Veteran Roboticist)
Practically everyone in the robotics industry has either worked with or heard of Jorgen Pedersen. For those not-yet-familiar, Jorgen has been contributing to robotics for over 20 years on some of the most advanced projects ever undertaken.   Jorgen Pedersen is the President and CEO of Pittsburgh Robotics company RE2 - one of the most advanced robotic innovation firms in the world.   In this episode, Jorgen and Spencer discuss RE2's history, trajectory, inspiration for new systems, and more. We also discuss the increased need for roboticized jobs during the pandemic, and some of the many markets RE2 has served, including solar farms, aviation, construction, defense, energy, and medicine.   For as long as Spencer has known him, Jorgen's vision has been to create a safer world through robotics. RE2 Robotics helps companies in numerous industries create safer work environments. If you are interested in technology at all, then you won't want to miss this exclusive look inside one of the greatest minds in robotics today.   Learn more about RE2 and what they are working on here   If you enjoyed this episode, please like and subscribe to Collaborative With Spencer Krause!
August 22, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E18 - Vinny Kemler (Drone Hardware Specialist)
Join us as we speak with Modal AI's director of hardware, Vinny Kemler. This one gets pretty raw as we discuss security, motivations of getting into engineering, music, cooking, and what it takes to send flight hardware to the planet Mars. Vinny is an all around great guy.  Modal is one of the few companies still making things in America and you can learn more about their work at   If you enjoyed this episode, please like and subscribe for more awesome content.
August 15, 2021
Collaborative with Spencer Krause - E17 - Stephen Antolich (Explosion Proof Robot Specialist)
Join us as we talk with Paragonix Tek LLC CEO, Stephen Antolich about how he got started making hazardous environment robots, and what it means to take pride in one's work.    In this episode, Stephen and Spencer joke about the best way to prevent massive explosions when you're inspecting multi-hundred ton tanks of explosive material. Misuse of equipment and poorly designed or inspected gear can result in devastation. It is Stephen's mission is to help prevent these accidents while providing value in the inspection robot space. We also chat about regulations, some of their purposes, and how they vary in different parts of the world.  Stephen truly cares about simplifying robotics enough to be cost-effective and user friendly, but also about the balance of being complex enough to make their missions more flexible to complete multiple tasks while maintaining safety. It is a privilege to have him on the pod.   For more of Stephen's work, check out  If you enjoyed this episode, please Subscribe to Collaborative with Spencer Krause!
August 8, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E16 - Stephen Sywak (Entertainment Engineer)
Join us as we speak with Professional Engineer and all around goon Stephen Sywak about some of his work building man-moving machines for the entertainment sector.   In addition to his work in the aerospace and manufacturing sectors, Stephen is a serious threat in the entertainment industry. He has played a major role on Cirque Du Soleil Ca and Zumanity, The Who's Broadway production of Tommy, Pink Floyd's The Wall, and much more.    This is an exciting episode folks, so please don't miss it and subscribe today if you want to see more.
August 1, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E15 - Jennifer Apicella (Technical Sales / Networking Maven)
Join us as we dig into an excellent conversation with a woman who wears many hats. Jennifer Apicella is the founder and president of Build412Tech, the president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of getWITit, and a Program Director for the Pittsburgh Robotics Network.    In a past life, Jenn was a technical salesperson for IBM and she carries that acumen with her in her work today.    This conversation spans, professional, educational, philosophical, and comedic, so please listen and subscribe.    Build 412 Tech: Pittsburgh Robotics Network:  getWITit:
July 25, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E14 - Ricardo Olivares (Veteran NASA Engineer / Manager)
Join us as we speak with Ricardo Olivares about his 17-year journey at NASA where he has climbed the ranks through various engineering and management positions.   In this episode, Ricardo talks about his biological work at NASA, what's it's like to load cargo into a rocket waiting to take off, and some of the process that goes into performing research and development at the highest echelon. Additionally, Ricardo talks about what it was like to take part in highly selective (and individually customized) leadership programs at NASA.    This is Ricardo's second appearance on CWSK and we are glad to have him back.  Please subscribe for more inside perspectives into the bleeding edge of science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
July 18, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E13 - Kenny Chen (AI Policy Influencer)
Join us as we speak with Kenny Chen, who ran Pittsburgh's Thrival festival for many years, founded AI for Good, ran the accelerator known as Ascender, and has generally been a staple of Pittsburgh's tech community. In this episode, Kenny talks about studying public policy at Harvard and some questionable uses of AI that are going on right now that you may or may not know about, such as China's social credit system.  As China swallows up its neighbors, is there a way to protect the rights of Taiwan and Hong Kong's citizens? It's dubious, but some things are worth fighting for. This is a long episode with a lot of drinking and first-principle explanations since Spencer is not well versed in Politics and Kenny is an excellent teacher.  Pull up a chair. This is fascinating stuff.
July 11, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E12 - Dmitry Krivochenitser (Product Startup COO / CFO)
Dimitry Krivochenitser is the CFO and COO of Xena Workware. His wife, Ana, is the CEO. For those of you who do not know, the COO typically does a lot of non-glamourous, but almost ballet-like, work to make things happen on time. It is their job to make the CEO's promises come to fruition. The CEO's job is equally important in that they sell the product and represent the company's image to the world. Marriage aside, this is a symbiotic relationship in any company and one could not succeed without the other.  Xena was the first company to bring a stylish safety-rated workboot for women to market. This offering is long-overdue and it took a lot of grit and hard work to bring it to fruition. You can find out more about Xena's stylish workboots here: Join us as we speak with Dmitry Krivochenitser about the challenges of starting a medium-scale product company with a fairly novel mission. In this episode, Spencer drinks way more than Dmitry. Dmitry gives his perspective on the challenges of bringing a product that has never existed before to market in an international ecosystem. Dmitry and Spencer talk about industrial safety and the importance of paving new ground.  Please subscribe for more interesting content.  In light of the federal holiday, we are releasing this episode on a Thursday. Our normal schedule will resume next week.
July 1, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E11 - Joel Reed (Salesperson Trapped in a Consultant's Body)
Join us as we speak with Pittsburgh Robotics Network Executive Director Joel Reed. In this episode, Spencer and Joel sip Scotch. Joel talks about his career from high-powered (top 3) consultant, to startup CEO, to running the Pittsburgh robotics network, with a lot of stories in between. Joel and Spencer also talk about alternate careers they once considered as doctors and what made them decide to go into robotics instead.
June 27, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E10 - Matthew Cherewka (Robotics Business Strategist)
Join us as we speak with Vecna Robotics' Director of Business Development, Matthew Cherewka, about Vecna Robotics, aspiring to work with technology from an early age, speculations about the past, present, and future of robotics, and ethical business practices that simultaneously generate profit and good-will.
June 20, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E9 - Stephen Hawes (Engineer, Entreprenuer, and YouTube Personality)
Join us as we speak with the multitalented Stephen Hawes about his interests in electronics manufacturing, various ways to motivate teams of engineers, open source vs closed source, bringing products to market, and the pros and cons of listening to critics on the internet. Check out Stephen's YouTube channel here: And his Patreon here:  If you enjoyed this, please tell your friends and subscribe to CWSK. Your validation goes a  long way in helping us continue to make more awesome content. 
June 13, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E8 - Ken Urish M.D, Ph.D. (Surgeon / Engineer)
Join us as we share a cup of coffee with high volume knee and hip replacement surgeon and research engineer, Ken Urish. In this episode, Ken describes what it takes to get an MD / Ph.D., Ken and Spencer discuss the history and significance of Machine learning in medicine, we debate the efficacy of surgical robots, and Ken discusses the (delayed) joys of improving patient outcomes. Finally, Ken and Spencer wax nostalgic about inventing things for the fun of it. This is a good one so please don't miss it! You can find out more about Ken's work at
June 7, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E7 - Terri Glueck (Seed-Stage Investor)
Join us as we speak with Innovation Works Communications Director, Terri Glueck. In this episode, we talk about the realities of entrepreneurship and what it looks like to support the entrepreneurial community, as well as how many entrepreneurs are wired. We also explore cynicism, motivational structure, and the beauty of the biomedical and life sciences sectors. This episode dives deep so be sure to check it out, folks.   Speaking of biomed and life sciences, please check out the AlphaLab Health Showcase on Jun 9th at 3pm ET / noon PT. RSVP today! As always, if you found this interesting, please subscribe and stay tuned for more conversations with interesting people doing incredible things.
May 31, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E6 - Oscar Prom (Creative Technologist)
Join us as we speak with Deeplocal's Director of Software, Oscar Prom about what it takes to build high-tech interactive exhibits for big brands on a regular basis. In this episode we discuss how Oscar and his team have been applying the lessons they've learned to create a universal framework for commissioning exhibits more effectively. The product, gumband, encompasses a unique set of tools and is on-sale now.   We also discuss ways we've been trying to engage people during the pandemic, discuss art, tell stories about work and play, debate philosophy, and have an all around great time.   Learn more about gumband, here:  Learn more about Deeplocal here:  If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to Collaborative with Spencer Krause for more informal conversations with people who are pushing the limits of science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
May 24, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E5 - Greek Gadget Guru (Superhero Armorer)
Join us as we speak with Greek Gadget Guru about his approach to making superhero gadgets for fun and profit. In this episode, we discuss Greek Gadget Guru's journey into his current role and offer a sneak-peek into an unpublished project that Greek Gadget Guru and SKA have been teaming up on. Please subscribe for more inside perspectives into the bleeding edge of science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
May 17, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E4 - Ricardo Olivares (Veteran NASA Engineer / Manager)
Join us as we speak with Ricardo Olivares about his 17-year journey at NASA where he has climbed the ranks through various engineering and management positions. In this episode, Ricardo talks about some of the many different groups he has worked for at NASA and their relative subcultures, what's it's like to load cargo into a SpaceX rocket, and some of the process that goes into performing research and development at the highest echelon.    Additionally, Spencer - who worked briefly at SpaceX - and Ricardo speculate about what drives a person to want to work on the Space program and run through some of the steps they took to pursue a career in space exploration.    On a more somber note, Ricardo explains the sequence of events leading up to the Space shuttle Columbia explosion and recalls what it was like to be in the room when it happened.   Please subscribe for more inside perspectives into the bleeding edge of science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
May 10, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E3 - Brad Kriel (Robotics Engineer / Entreprenuer)
Join us as we speak with robotics engineer and entrepreneur, Brad Kriel. In this episode Brad and Spencer trade stories about what it's like to work in an advanced Research and Development group within a large corporation vs working in smaller companies and startups.   This is made more interesting by the fact that Brad and Spencer worked at Caterpillar and Joy Mining simultaneously as robotics engineers. We look at the culture and risk profile of the mining industry, as well as some clever "blocking strategies" that Caterpillar used to make it more difficult for Joy Mining to compete with them.    We take an honest view of the good, the bad, and the ugly of starting a product or service company from scratch, and we tell stories about our past, present, and future endeavors. Brad is a very intelligent guy and an excellent storyteller so don't miss this episode.   Please subscribe for more inside perspectives into the bleeding edge of science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
May 3, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E2 - Caz Mostowy (Robotic Hardware Engineer / Manager)
Join us as we speak with veteran technologist and all-around great guy, Caz Mostowy. In this episode, Caz tells us about coming up with several now-legendary figures at Maya Design and what it was like to run Bossa Nova Robotics' hardware division. We also discuss what it takes to be a technologist now vs. what it took in the past. The episode really goes downhill when, after several glasses of straight whiskey, we tell war stories about NYC and Jersey City involving grand theft auto, armed robbery, and so much more. This is a raw one, folks, so be sure to check it out. *Andy Norman, referenced 5-minutes into the episode, prefers the title "philosophical counselor" to "therapist." Given what he does, it is a better fit. You can learn more about Andy's book, "Mental Immunity," at
April 26, 2021
Collaborative With Spencer Krause - E1 - Dan Curhan (Mechanical Engineer)
Join us as we discuss the intricacies of product development, industrial automation, horrific shop injuries, and more.
April 19, 2021