Robotics Consulting | PickNik


We offer expert robotics consulting tailored to your project's needs. With both flexibility and scalability, we are your go to team for your most challenging tasks.

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We are rooted with strong academic backgrounds of robotics theory combined with deep applied software experience. Our Roboticists are ready to support you on your toughest robotic problems.


Hiring is difficult and tight deadlines don’t help. Avoid the PhD hiring struggle. Scale your team as needed with us. Engage with us for as long as you need us -- we’re flexible.



PickNik will optimize our collaboration to meet your unique needs. We can collaborate remotely via periodic video calls, email, and online messaging. Alternatively, we can collaborate onsite where we work one-on-one with your team providing hands-on training, mentoring, architecting, or strategy. Whatever best suits you!

Areas of Expertise

Identification of the best path planning approach

  • Consulting services to use the ideal algorithm for a given application and problem type
  • Benchmarking competing approaches for analytical analysis
  • Implementation of novel algorithms and approaches
  • Reviewing current literature and academic surveys for cutting edge solutions
  • Technology readiness level analysis and reporting

Probabilistic/sampling based methods

  • Consulting and development of the Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL)
  • Multi-query planners including PRM, LazyPRM, PRM*
  • Single-query planners including RRT, RRTConnect, RRT*, T-RRT, and LazyRRT
  • Asymptotically near-optimal planners including SPARS, SPARS2
  • Projection-based methods including EST, KPIECE, AtlasRRT

Other motion planning methods

  • Trajectory Optimization (TrajOpt)
  • Search Based Planning Library (SBPL)
  • Stochastic Trajectory Optimization for Motion Planning (STOMP)
  • Covariant Hamiltonian Optimization for Motion Planning (CHOMP)
  • Dynamic Motion Primitives

Experience-based motion planning

  • Recall and repair of past plans for faster future planning
  • More deterministic results
  • Experts in Thunder and Lightning algorithms

Planning around static and dynamic obstacles

  • Modeling of static and dynamic environments as “Planning Scenes”
  • Collision aware planning using virtual maps of the environment
  • Continuous collision checking approaches
  • Avoidance of local minimum around obstacles while planning
  • Experts with relevant libraries including the Flexible Collision Library (FCL), Bullet, Octomaps, and the Point Cloud Library (PCL)

Analytic solutions

  • Experts in both computationally and manually generated solutions
  • Closed-form analytic solutions return complete solutions in microseconds
  • 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) and less solvers
  • Consultation on mechanical design of robots

Iterative methods

  • 7 degrees of freedom or more solvers
  • Advice in choosing the best inverse kinematics solvers for your application
  • Experts with off-the-shelf open source KDL, LMA, and TracIK solvers
  • Customize inverse Jacobian methods, gradient projection method, heuristic method, etc.
  • Integrate complex constraints and behaviors in the null space

Multiple arms

  • Implementing IK solvers for arbitrary robot configurations with multiple arms and legs
  • Support for overlapping (shared) joints such as torsos
  • Inverse kinematic solvers that satisfy multiple constraint functions such as stack of tasks and particle swarm optimization
  • Motion planning with underconstrained waypoints that iteratively run IK

Control frameworks

  • Integration and customization of the ROS Control Framework
  • Creation of custom controllers including position, velocity, and force controllers
  • Integration of the OROCOS control framework

Reactive planning

  • Fast planners that are able to react and adjust to a changing environment
  • Dual mode Cartesian and free-space planning algorithms for a wide range of applications
  • System wide performance benchmarking

Software architecting with ros

  • Consulting on best practices for standard ROS paradigms
  • Training for internal development teams new to ROS
  • Historical insights into design decisions and ongoing ROS shortcomings

High-quality ROS packages / stacks

  • Fully ROS-compliant code repository with best practices
  • Documented, tested, and code-reviewed deliverables
  • Continuous integration scripts and integration testing
  • Nvidia GPU-enabled Docker containers for multi-platform support
  • ROS C++ style guidelines, roslint, and catkin lint enforcement

We speak both ROS and ROS2

  • Expertise in ROS2 enabling technologies and release status
  • Build your application on the next generation of ROS and future-proof your work
  • Utilize industrial-grade features for enterprise systems
  • Improved distributed robotic system support
  • Quality of service guarantees for tough communication environments

We can convert your code with ease

  • Convert your ROS applications and their dependencies to ROS2
  • Migration to DDS, Colcon, & Managed Nodes
  • Expanded industrial-grade features
  • Future-proof your work

Mobile base navigation stack

  • ROS navigation stack integration, customization, and deployment
  • Mobile base path and trajectory planning
  • OpenSlam's Gmapping, Google Cartographer algorithms for SLAM-based tracking
  • ROS-Control framework for switching between simulated and real-world environments
  • Simulated Gazebo system of robot base navigation

Immersive robot visualizations

  • Iterate faster on hardware by testing new designs virtually before physical prototyping
  • Deploy high situational awareness teleop environments
  • Use ROS, Gazebo, and Rviz with off-the-shelf 3D headsets like the HTC Vive and Occulus Rift
  • Evaluate and plan your collaborative robot integration strategy in virtual reality
  • Run Unity3D on Windows or Linux

Assembly modelling

  • Setup​ ​Solidworks​ ​assembly​ ​files​ ​to​ ​have​ ​proper​ ​mechanical​ ​mates​ ​and​ ​joint​ ​limits
  • Setup​ ​coordinate​ ​systems​ ​for​ ​DH​ ​parameterization
  • Create​ ​Interface​ ​Control​ ​documents​ ​for​ ​consistent​ ​representation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​robot's​ ​kinematics

URDF generation

  • Convert​ ​CAD​ ​files​ ​to​ ​compliant​ ​URDF​ ​specifications
  • Verification​ ​of​ ​joint​ ​limits​ ​and​ ​appearance​ ​in​ ​Rviz
  • Integrate​ ​inertial​ ​properties​ ​for​ ​simulation​ ​in​ ​Gazebo
  • Integrate​ ​actuator​ ​and​ ​controller​ ​properties​ ​for​ ​ROS​ ​Control

Mesh collision optimization

  • Defeature and reduce mesh complexity
  • Reduce triangle count on meshes
  • Create bounding convex decompositions of meshes
  • Convert to coarse grain geometric primitives for highest speed optimizations

CAD packages

    We​ ​are​ ​currently​ ​compatible​ ​with​ ​the​ ​following​ ​CAD​ ​packages:

  • Solidworks
  • OnShape

Reachability & usability studies

  • Analysis of robot base placement with respect to workspace
  • Determine starting poses for various tasks
  • Reachability Maps
  • Optimal arm placement

Multilingual robots

  • C/C++ for high performance cross-platform code
  • Python - Wrap existing C/C++ functionality in the most common ROS scripting language
  • Matlab - Prototype new algorithms or use codegen to run your code in C as a standalone app

Amazon Robomaker and Google cloud integration

  • Easily develop and deploy robotic fleets at scale
  • Remote monitoring, logging, and control
  • Improved cloud-based visual and speech recognition
  • Simulation service to accelerate application testing

Modern platform-agnostic front-ends

  • Develop React and Python apps to your robotic system
  • Leverage the latest web standards and technologies
  • Remote monitoring via video feeds and full situational awareness
  • Connecting to ROS via rosbridge