Team | PickNik
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PickNik has over 62 years of combined experience in the field of robotics and automation, and the team is rooted in a deep academic background of robotics theory.

Dave Coleman, PhD
Co-Founder, Senior Roboticist
B.S. MechEng Georgia Tech, Masters and PhD CompSci CU Boulder focusing on motion planning. Dave has 12 years experience working in the field of robotics automation and is a leader in the open source MoveIt! and ROS communities. His insights into robot-agnostic platforms that works for different morphologies, different theoretical approaches, and different end-user technical requirements give him a well-rounded understanding of the needs of powerful robotic software. He has worked and consulted for all types of robotics companies including Google Robotics, the Open Source Robotics Foundation, and Willow Garage.

Andy McEvoy, PhD
Co-Founder, Senior Roboticist
M.S. Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M focusing on dynamics and controls and a PhD in Computer Science from CU Boulder focusing on robotic materials. Andy has worked in the aerospace sector on spaceflight and military grade hardware. Since then he has worked for MDA helping to develop the next generation of robotic arms for on-orbit assembly and servicing. Andy has a wide breadth of experience that extends from the initial mechanical design and analysis to the final software deployment of robotic systems.

Mike Lautman, MSE
Co-Founder, Roboticist
B.S. CompSci and Electrical Eng, M.S. Robotics from Univ. of Pennsylvania. While a full-time student, Mike founded Nebu, a Machine Learning and Data Science consultancy that he grew to 10 engineers. One of the projects that Mike is especially proud of was building an ETL pipeline that feeds millions of escort advertisements from the web into a singular database used by law-enforcement against child-traffickers. After Nebu, Mike joined up with KindredAi, an AI and Robotics venture backed startup, where he took on leadership of its motion planning efforts on a number of internal and external products.

Rob Coleman
Co-Founder, Business Operations
B.A Political Science and B.A. Public Administration, Auburn University; and M.A. Asia-Pacific Studies, international trade and economic policy, National Chengchi University (Taiwan). Rob has lived on four continents and developed a talent for seeing the big picture while working for both startups and large organizations. Over the past ten years Rob has served in breadth of roles, including policy analyst, team leader of Marines, trade advocate, project manager, and business development manager. Rob enjoys new challenges and moving the status quo.

Nathan Brooks, PhD
Applied Robotics Scientist
B.S. Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at University of Tulsa, M.S. and PhD Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Nathan's graduate research focused on developing team planning techniques and interaction strategies improving operator supervision of large robot teams. Through this research, he has extensive experience with simulation platforms and field deployment logistics for unmanned vehicles on land, sea, and air.

Stephen Brawner, PhD, PE
Applied Robotics Scientist
PhD, Sc.M Computer Science from Brown University, B.S Engineering from Harvey Mudd College. Stephen has an interdisciplinary background in electromechanical engineering, robotics and AI. Prior to grad school he designed and built robots culminating in an automated heliostat cleaning system for eSolar, Inc - a concentrating solar thermal technology developer. Currently he leverages his broad expertise to develop automated behaviors for robots, incorporating machine learning, sensing and perception. Stephen is also the developer of the SolidWorks to URDF Exporter, an open-source SolidWorks add-in.

Lucas Doyle
Senior Software Engineer
B.S. Computer and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a focus on robotics. Luke is an engineer who likes building interfaces to robots, autonomous vehicles and automated machinery. He spent a couple years in Japan working in industrial / manufacturing robotics for MUJIN, and has been in San Francisco working on drones/robotics for over 4 years.

Lynn Regnier
Accountant & Financial Manager
MS in Accounting (in progress), University of Colorado, Boulder. MS in Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Lynn has been working in operations for software companies since 2015. She made this career change after a long career as a food scientist. Lynn enjoys learning about organizations and compiling the financial information organizations need for decision making.

Henning Kayser, MSE
Applied Robotics Scientist
B.S. CS at University of Hamburg w/focus on distributed systems. M.S. CS w/focus on motion planning and machine learning. Broad experience with autonomous robots and scenarios with unstable dynamics like liquid pouring or pushing of objects. Expertise in motion planning, trajectory optimization, constrained and Cartesian path planning as well as 3D-perception and image processing. Winning team participant in the IROS 2018 Mobile Manipulation Hackathon.

Andy Zelenak, PhD
Senior Controls Engineer
B.S. ME/EE from Colorado School of Mines, PhD from the University of Texas. Andy has focused on bringing a more responsive, delicate touch to industrial robots, with emphasis on control theory. Andy has collaborated with roboticists in the nuclear, oil/gas, and aerospace domains. Some of his favorite projects were joint current based collision detection, balancing an egg between Motoman SIA5 manipulators, and design of teleoperation software for a dual-arm Clearpath robot.

Chris Heckman, PhD
Senior Perception Researcher
B.S. MechEng UC Berkeley, PhD Theoretical & Applied Mechanics Cornell University and two Postdocs. Asst Professor in the Dept of Computer Science. Chris's research focuses on autonomy, perception, field robotics, machine learning, and AI. His work is used by industry in the development of autonomous vehicles, agricultural robotics and other mobile robots including for medicine and automation, as well as the federal government for civil environmental monitoring, intelligence and defense.

Ioan Sucan, PhD
PhD in Computer Science, Rice University, Ioan is the original author of MoveIt! and the Open Motion Planning Library. In 2016 he was the winner of the IEEE RAS Early Career Award "for contributions to open source software for robot motion planning." He is currently a manager on the planning team at Alphabet's Waymo self-driving car division.

Brian Gerkey, PhD
Brian is CEO of Open Robotics, where they develop and drive adoption of open source software in robotics. Before Open Robotics, he was Director of Open Source Development at Willow Garage, where they focus primarily on ROS. Before Willow, he was a computer scientist in the SRI Artificial Intelligence Center. Before that, he was a post-doctoral scholar in Sebastian Thrun‘s group in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. And before that, he did his PhD with Maja Matarić in the USC Interaction Lab.

Mike Hurowitz
Michael is a serial entrepreneur and startup advisor. Michael's expertise is in research commercialization, bringing new technologies from the lab to market. He has delivered over $24B of space missions, $7B of commercial aircraft, and 127 new products developed working with 35 Fortune 500 companies and almost 60 startups, 14 federal agencies, and 16 university research groups.

Jeff Rose
Jeff is a Partner of Origin Rose, a strategic consulting company. Over the last 3 years, he also led ThinkTopic, a Boulder based AI company, as Co-founder and CEO. ThinkTopic has worked with a wide range of organizations, from the Asian Development Bank to Conde Nast and Digital Globe. Before starting ThinkTopic, Jeff was one of the first research engineers at (Google) DeepMind, where he collaborated with neuroscientists to develop novel machine learning algorithms.