Like many of our projects, Pump Studios started as an idea—to create a company that was innovative, flexible, and ever-changing for the needs of our clients. A design firm specializing in mechanical engineering with the stability and insight to adapt to our changing environment and the evolving technology of a demanding market. We are proud that over the last 15 years we have stayed true to our vision and enabled our clients to realize their goals through our commitment to a collaborative process that harnesses the latest technology and engineering advancements.
Pump Studios was founded in 2007 by Brad Collins, Peter Kaltenbach, and Celeste Lamberth, who previously worked together at a larger design firm. Within a year, Kevin Keller joined as the 4th partner as the number of projects quickly outpaced the staff to support it. Working out of an old house, renovated as an office space, the Pump team has been working on industry-changing projects from the beginning.
One highlight from Pump’s first year of operation is Sonic Golf, which is a technology that converts a golfer’s swing into a variable pitched tone. For the first time, a solo golfer has the capabilities to understand the rhythm of their swings in real-time. This all came about prior to the invention of smartphones with apps that might handle this need today.
In August 2007, Pump started a collaboration with Accuquilt. This was the first project where Pump helped from concept to production, launching the Accuquilt: Go! – Fabric Cutter. The Fabric Cutter is a tool for quiltmakers to uniformly cut multiple layers of material easier, quicker, and more uniformly, therefore revolutionizing process. Pump continued to assist AccuQuilt with their next variations: the Go! Baby – Fabric Cutter and the Go! Big – Motorized Fabric Cutter.
As a new company, Pump focused on delivering quality to build a network of clients and a reputation as a top engineering firm. We remained consistently busy, and in 2008 Pump Studios relocated to a larger office space. This allowed growth for hiring additional staff members and taking on more projects.
Startups that Change Industries
In the early 2010s Pump Studios continued to work on industry-changing projects. In 2012, Pump began working with iFetch. Pump was initially presented with a basic functional prototype and a visual design. We were asked to deliver a reliable, manufacturable solution that allows a dog to interactively and independently play fetch. Pump helped bring this idea to life.
The result quickly changed the modern dog toy industry. In 2014, iFetch won 2nd place in the New Dog Product showcase at the Global Pet Expo. Because of the international success of the iFetch dog toy, we have been fortunate to continue working with the iFetch team to develop several new variations and discover new product categories for the iFetch family, including iFetch Too, iFetch Frenzy, and iDig by iFetch.
In 2018, Pump Studios conceptualized ideas with the Lettuce Grow team that grew into the Lettuce Grow: Farmstand, a self-watering aeroponic vertical garden that only requires periodically refilling the water basin and providing nutrients. The Farmstand changed how food can be grown at home by leveraging technology to manage proper watering, lighting, and harvesting, all in a sustainable package. Farming is now accessible to the consumer like never before. The Lettuce Grow team is another example where Pump Studios provides ongoing collaboration supporting the current Farmstand and exploring new variations for home growers.
Later in 2018 Pump Studios began working with the 3-person start-up called ICON. Pump took the active role as ICON’s extended engineering team, helping to design, build, and test the ICON: Vulcan 3D printer that prints concrete in layers to form the walls of a house. The Vulcan printer automated how homes are built and upended the entire construction industry. ICON was honored with Fast Company’s 2020 World-Changing Ideas Award for being able to print all the walls for a house in 24 hours. Pump continued to collaborate with ICON to deliver their next evolution of printer, the Vulcan II 3D printer, and provides ongoing support for ICON.
Working with Fortune 500 companies
Pump’s clients over the years have not only been startups. We are fortunate to have worked extensively with Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Trimble, and Dell, helping them bring new and exciting products to market. As our client list and workload have expanded over the years, so too has our need for more space. In 2018 we moved into our current location after partnering with an architect to design our office layout aligned with our growing needs. This included a new shop that is twice the size of our previous one and gives us space to work on new projects that we hope to share with you soon.
In 2021, we collaborated with Trimble again to work on the Spot Defender, adding a 360-degree laser scanner and mount that secures to the back of Spot, the robotic dog. The scanner and mount allow Spot to safely record and document the progress of construction sites. The mount protects the scanner from exposure to possible damage if Spot lands on its side while navigating the worksite.
The Core of Pump
We have been very fortunate to have worked with over 80 clients—bringing 75 of their products to market. The original idea of Pump has come so much further than any of the four partners ever imagined.
To all our clients, partners, and peers, we thank you for your continued support and constant drive. You have helped Pump become what it is today.
As we look to the future, our original objective hasn’t changed. For the next 15 years, watch us continue to collaborate and make revolutionary things happen!