September 18, 2019

PickNik Turns 2

by Rob Coleman
PickNik Turns 2

When Dr. Dave Coleman entered the Amazon Picking Challenge in 2015 on behalf of the University of Colorado at Boulder, he had no idea it would lead to him starting a successful robotics company.

“We didn’t win [the Amazon Picking Challenge], but Google offered me a job as a contractor to work on MoveIt, which required I create an LLC, and then things started moving…”

As he started having too many MoveIt projects, Dave realized there was an opportunity in the growing robotics market for open source software. He brought on 3 co-founders to spearhead the robotics software startup.

“I realized that in order to have the impact I wanted to on MoveIt, I would need to have a bigger team. I couldn’t take a job at traditional companies that would prevent me from still contributing to open source. Starting a company made a lot of sense”

Mike Dave Andy

PickNik’s humble beginnings started in Dave’s basement, and now employs over a dozen PhD roboticists and robotics software engineers all over the world with its headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

Dave’s passion for the open source software model has helped PickNik Robotics become lead developer and maintainer of MoveIt, a key part of ROS (Robotics Operating System). MoveIt is used heavily by industry, startups, academics, and graduate students alike to enable robotic arms to interact with objects and move them to new locations. MoveIt is now used worldwide in hundreds of robots, including projects by NASA and many others.

PickNik Team

As the robotics industry continues to grow, PickNik continues to focus on world class robotics consulting and providing powerful robotics software.


Accelerate Your Robotics Development | About PickNik: Robots are complex systems that require a wide breadth of expert knowledge spanning multiple disciplines, making robotics development extremely difficult and costly. Since 2015, PickNik’s mission has been to address this technical challenge while dramatically reducing development time for advanced robotic applications. To achieve this, PickNik supports and collaborates with the worldwide open source robotics movement, providing companies with cutting edge research and barrier-free open source software.

PickNik is rooted with a strong background in robotics theory combined with applied software experience to provide unique solutions. Robotics companies including Google, Amazon, Kindred, and many others are partnering with PickNik to develop robotic applications to address the toughest issues through software consulting, custom development, and other initiatives. By working together, we can accomplish far more than by working alone.

If you would like more information please contact Rob Coleman at