PickNik Robotics and Sierra Space have agreed a collaboration which will explore the implementation of robotic autonomy and controllability for autonomous maintenance of space habitat environments.


PickNik Robotics is a robotics software and engineering services company, while Sierra Space is a commercial space company with 1,100 employees, more than 500 missions and over 30 years of space flight heritage.

The companies anticipate that the robotic autonomy solutions developed with this collaboration will significantly improve the ability to support low Earth orbit (LEO), lunar and deep space missions. 

PickNik Robotics’ expertise in robotic manipulation paired with Sierra Space’s LIFE habitat (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) product lines will help enable extended mission durations that benefit from remote-controlled automation.

Sierra Space aims to build the future of space transportation and destinations to enable a vibrant, growing commercial space economy in LEO.

The company is creating the foundational infrastructure to support this new ecosystem, led by LIFE and its Dream Chaser spaceplane.

LIFE is a modular, three-story commercial habitation and science platform with applications in LEO, Mars transport and lunar/Mars surface habitation.

It will provide opportunities for multiple businesses, including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and other sectors, to optimize the zero gravity benefits of space.

PickNik Robotics will provide technical expertise to Sierra Space for further developing supervised autonomy solutions for robotic technologies on Space Stations, including requirements gathering, workspace analysis and hardware selection.

The company will also support Sierra Space in developing concept simulations of robotic assets for use on Space Stations.

In addition, PickNik will provide software engineering to implement Space ROS and MoveItTM Studio to support Sierra Space’s flight-hardened software needs.

Steve Lindsey, chief strategy officer at Sierra Space and former astronaut who has flown five missions for NASA, says: “At Sierra Space, our mission is to build a platform in space to benefit life here on Earth.

“To fulfill that mission, we wanted to collaborate with a leading robotics company that has deep expertise working in complex environments. PickNik Robotics fits those criteria.

“We anticipate that PickNik will make a strong and positive impact on our ambitious goals in space.”

Dr Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik Robotics, says: “Sierra Space’s vision and progress toward creating a commercial platform for space manufacturing and other applications is really exciting, and we look forward to contributing to those meaningfully with our robotics expertise and software.

“We are honored to be working with them to support their robotics development.”

PickNik Robotics has a large team of world-class robotics experts that help companies of all sizes solve the complex software challenges that are ubiquitous in the fast-growing robotics industry.

Using a powerful and open robotics software platform, it helps companies decrease risks, development time and costs associated with robotic applications.

Via RoboticsAndAutomationNews.com