Open Source Robotics

The competitive advantage companies need.

“Approximately 90% of organizations use open source software today” 1

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Why Open Source?



Don't reinvent the wheel; leverage open source software to save millions in R&D spending.


De-facto industry

Used by top tech companies. Compatible with most commercially available robotics.


Avoid vendor

Any capable development team can modify the software as needed.


Hardened through
more eyes

Popular open source frameworks typically have had hundreds of developers review and perfect the code.


Easier hiring
and onboarding

Tap into talent already using the industry standard, from universities and labs, to seasoned veterans.


Large user

Leverage a world-wide support network of developers using the software for a wide variety of applications and configurations.

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“Tesla has created a software platform with more lines of code than Windows, but with a fraction of Microsoft’s software-development capabilities. How did Tesla achieve this without an army of engineers and three decades of experience? Through the extensive use of available and mature open-source software.” 2

How Companies Can Use Open Source Robotics Software

A company can gain tremendous value from open source projects and the benefits far outweigh the limitations. You can keep your intellectual property secure and avoid concerns about paying licensing fees. There are some common best practices for how to leverage open source safely and effectively, which we've compiled into the following whitepaper.

Download our Open Source Whitepaper
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"We use either the BSD or the Apache 2 licence, which are both what I call permissive open source licenses which basically say you can take the software, incorporate it into your product, change it, do whatever you like more or less, and you don’t have to tell us about it or ask us for permission."

Brian Gerkey, CEO, Open Robotics

Major Organizations In Open Source Robotics

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Open Robotics

Formerly Open Source Robotics Foundation.
Develops the core ROS 1 and ROS 2 middleware plus Gazebo.

ROS industial consortium

ROS Industrial Consortium

Develops common robot drivers
and many tools around manufacturing.

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PickNik Robotics

Develops MoveIt and many related
manipulation packages

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Autoware Foundation

Develops autonomous cars and
self-driving mobility using ROS

PickNik's Open Source Business Model

PickNik is a for-profit company that provides professional services for open source robotics projects. This is actually in itself a huge benefit for these projects, as companies know that if they run into problems, they can turn to us for support, just as they would expect from traditional, closed source software.

We devote a significant portion of our company profits to further maintaining and improving open source robotics. We consider this as a significant part of our marketing budget, as we hope these open source projects continue to become more popular and drive further software development with PickNik.

We recognize that we must balance the needs of generating income with the needs of open source projects. We are careful to listen to and respect the open source communities of volunteers who are passionate about building great software.

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Ongoing Robotics Support

PickNik provides engineering services for open source robotics software, from strategic contract development to ongoing support and consulting. We are ready to support your robotics software initiatives with ROS and other open source technologies.

Learn more

"As Open-Source Adoption Skyrockets in Enterprise, Linux Addresses Ease of Use," Marlene Den Bleyker, SiliconANGLE, 2 June 2017.

“An executive’s guide to software development“ – McKinsey February 2017