Sr. Manager Robotic Hardware Systems

Sunnyvale, CA

Position Description

We’re Blue River, a team of innovators driven to radically change agriculture by creating intelligent machinery. We empower our customers – farmers - to implement more sustainable solutions: optimize chemical usage, reimagining routine processes, and improving farming yields year after year. We believe that focusing on the small stuff – pixel-by-pixel and plant-by-plant - leads to big gains. By partnering with John Deere, we are innovating computer vision, machine learning, robotics and product management to solve monumental challenges for our customers.

Our people are at the heart of what we do. Through cross-discipline collaboration, this mission-driven and daring team is eager to define the new frontier of agricultural robotics. We are always asking hard questions, rapidly iterating, and getting our boots in the field to figure it out. We won’t give up until we’ve made a tangible and positive impact on agriculture.

Position Summary:

Developing cutting-edge robotic systems in smart agriculture is an amazing challenge. We have a custom tech stack that rivals any self driving project but thrives in a rugged off-road environment. By reducing the amount of herbicide sprayed with our See and Spray system, we are directly impacting our environment in a positive way through the novel technologies being developed.

A successful robotics hardware systems manager for our growing team is somebody with creativity and confidence to tackle these types of challenges. We’re seeking an accountable leader and domain specialist that can guide multi-disciplinary teams in delivering complex hardware/software products with the latest computer vision technology.


  • Lead, encourage, and coordinate engineers; work through influence rather than authority to cultivate empowered, innovative teams
  • Provide technical mentoring and career coaching across the organization; responsible for performance management, feedback and growth of direct-line reports
  • Play an active role in recruiting, interviewing and hiring top talent for our teams; resolve hiring needs and work with recruiters to bring in and retain top talent
  • Build a work environment that fosters openness, high performance, creativity, and inclusiveness

Team Coordination:

  • Work with product management and fellow engineering leaders to concept, design, and deliver electro-mechanical systems, components, sensors, test equipment, and robots
  • Facilitate communication, work planning, and prioritization in and across teams of teams in an agile environment
  • Lead-by-example with architecture and design reviews that foster a design-for-team environment
  • Work collaboratively with architects and other domain experts


  • Responsible for guiding end-to-end definition of systems that meet performance, reliability, and user experience goals
  • Identify technical risks, assess their impact, and develop mitigation plans
  • Communicate plans, supervise progress and provide updates to senior management
  • Facilitate the information flow between team members and senior management
  • Lead rapid prototyping and experimentation as well as a continuous improvement product delivery process; establish and mentor on lean process and methods such as design reviews, clean documentation, and DFM
  • Be responsible for the development and execution of an aligned technical roadmap in mechanical, electrical, and mechatronics engineering

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant engineering field (Electrical, Mechanical, Mechatronics, or Agriculture)
  • 10+ years of proven experience with 4+ years leading teams working on sophisticated projects in robotics or smart agricultural automation
  • Multidisciplinary technical skills to include electrical, mechanical, systems, and software engineering
  • Systems thinker with strong analytical skills and troubleshooting abilities
  • High levels of emotional and professional maturity
  • Excellent leadership, management and communication skills
  • Effective relationship builder and highly approachable technical leader
  • Proven track record of planning and execution, especially in the presence of uncertainty; ability to quickly assess situations and drive decision making
  • Comfortable working in a dynamic start-up environment; ability to “roll-up your sleeves” and lead by example, when needed
  • Customer obsessed; able to employ design thinking and agile methods in a lean, iterative environment

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience with agriculture, autonomous vehicles, robotics, computer vision, rapid prototyping, and automated test equipment
  • Experience selecting suppliers and sustaining excellent working partnerships
  • Proficient in SolidWorks or Creo; Altium also a plus
  • Experienced with an ERP and PDM systems

Blue River offers competitive compensation and benefits, including a great 401(K) match. We believe in a work life balance and offer generous Paid Time Off and Sick Leave as well as Paid Parental Leave and an adoption benefit. Subsidized lunches, flexible work hours, CalTrain passes (with mobile Wi-Fi!) and a collaborative and supportive environment also contribute to making Blue River a great place to work.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

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