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PickNik Robotics raises $2 million in pre-seed investment round

PickNik Robotics, a provider of “unstructured robotics software”, says it has reached a major milestone in its mission to bring robot arms “out of factories and into our everyday lives”.

The company has just raised $2 million in a pre-seed investment round led by Stellar Ventures and Cypress Growth Capital, positioning itself as the dominant force in redefining the robotics industry through its innovative software platforms.

The investment augments PickNik’s existing $5 million in non-dilutive SBIR funding contracts with NASA JSC, NASA Ames, and Space Force.

This funding will be used to further develop their powerful robotics platform MoveIt Studio, which enables any developer or engineer to create advanced applications with robot arms.

MoveIt Studio is unique in that it tackles a new and fast-growing robotics market segment: robots outside of the traditional manufacturing domain.

MoveIt Studio is already being used by many companies for advanced applications like autonomous mobile robots (AMR) that leverage mobile robot arms for in-situ bin picking, explosive ordnance disposal for SWAT teams, and next-gen space applications such as autonomous cargo unloading from space station re-supply capsules.

Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik, says: “This investment marks a pivotal moment in our journey from a bootstrapped company that could only innovate incrementally. We’re now committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with robot arms faster.

“With Stellar Ventures and Cypress Growth Capital by our side, we have the resources and support to fully commercialize our powerful platform that enables developers everywhere to build advanced robot arm applications with less risk.”

PickNik’s unique vision makes advanced robotics accessible through both open source and open core software. Their flagship software MoveIt Studio is built on their original, highly popular open source MoveIt software that continues to be one of the top motion planning and manipulation frameworks globally.

By embracing open source principles, PickNik empowers its customers to reduce R&D costs significantly and collaborate with well known de facto standards.

PickNik consistently demonstrates its leadership tackling the most challenging problems in robotics across many industries, including space, subsea, surgical, energy, AgTech, FoodTech, and personal robots.

With an unparalleled commitment to solving robotics challenges outside of factories, PickNik has earned the trust and recognition from industry giants including Google, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, Hyundai, NASA, Sierra Space, Blue Origin, and many more.

Matt Patterson at Stellar Ventures, says: “The robotics industry is rapidly evolving, and PickNik is at the forefront of innovation. We see immense potential in their ability to develop advanced solutions that bridge the gap between terrestrial and space robotics.”

Investors are drawn to PickNik’s exceptional capabilities. Their dexterous manipulator control has earned the company praise from esteemed organizations like NASA (whose multiple SBIR programs have historically funded PickNik).

A robotics engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center says: “There are few others in the industry of robotics with the capability of PickNik, especially capabilities as expansive as their abilities with dexterous manipulator control.”

Pat McCaffrey, partner at Cypress Growth Capital, says: “As use cases for robotics applications become more complex, PickNik’s expertise and track record of solving the most difficult robotics problems is highly differentiated in this $230B market. With MoveIt Studio, PickNik is able to leverage that experience and deliver it to an even broader customer base.”

PickNik says it is “a leader of the Robot Operating System movement”. The company created ROS drivers for many popular robots used globally including Universal Robotics, Kinova, ABB, and Motiv Space Systems.

As a 100 percent robot-arm agnostic company, PickNik works with a wide range of robot brands and types, from custom hardware to off-the-shelf solutions, catering to the specific needs of its customers.

This pre-seed investment allows PickNik to further revolutionize the unstructured robotics software space with their MoveIt Studio product, and solidify its position as an industry leader, poised for a future filled with exciting possibilities.

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