Picogrid announces $12M funding round.
Read the press release.

Engineering at Picogrid: Our Principles for Better Defense Technology

Picogrid builds a unified platform for unmanned systems. Our technology helps power some of the most critical missions on the planet, from military reconnaissance to wildfire defense. In order to respond to the most pressing challenges of our time, we must go beyond human limitations.

Today, most industries rely on tightly stovepiped, single-purpose systems. We are building the platform to connect these capabilities—from ISR sensors and cameras to robotics and drones to large weapons platforms—at scale.

At Picogrid, we create the “middleware” to integrate these systems at massive scale. Our cloud-based software platform, Legion, provides a common interface for connecting and controlling all systems. Our hardware platforms, including Lander and Helios, enable scalable deployment, offering the power, communications, and edge compute required to link into Legion.

Picogrid's product architecture

To achieve these goals, our engineering culture reflects the core principles that make our technology excel: 1) Embrace Rapid Iteration, 2) Understand the Mission, 3) Test Early and Often, 4) Build for Scale, 5) Make Things Beautiful, and 6) Design for Openness and Maintainability.

1. Embrace Rapid Iteration

We strive to get a minimally viable solution fielded with users as quickly as possible. This requires constant vigilance over feature-creep and overly complex designs. We prioritize off-the-shelf components when possible.

In building Helios, we iterated through three major designs in six months, all tested with our end users, until settling on the final direction.

2. Understand the Mission

Our technology underpins some of the most critical military missions across the world. Every engineering decision is driven by deep understanding and empathy for the mission and experience of our users in the field, distinguishing us from legacy players, who design their systems by committees detached from the reality on the ground.

3. Test Early and Often

We field minimally viable solutions quickly with customers to validate assumptions, refine feature roadmaps, and prove performance. We avoid excessive upfront design or planning before proving system viability in real-world conditions. All systems are continuously tested as they are developed, not after.

4. Build for Scale

We aim to field autonomous systems by the millions. This requires considering the entire product lifecycle early, including logistics, manufacturing, reliability, and maintainability. We prefer simple designs, subsystem reuse, and avoid exotic materials or methods. Our designs must manage millions of connections across a dynamic network of devices. For instance, Lander was designed with logistics, manufacturing, reliability, and maintainability in mind.

Lander was natively designed with logistics, manufacturing, system reliability, and maintainability in mind.

5. Make Things Beautiful

We believe that beautiful things work better. Our technology supports high-pressure missions, and our products must be reliable and visually convey their advanced capabilities. Elegant design and intuitive user experience ensure users engage with our products when needed most, enhancing their effectiveness.

6. Design for Openness and Interoperability

Our products enable partner integrations to more easily deploy their systems at scale. To accelerate adoption of our technology by these companies, we strive for openness of our technology wherever possible, from avoidance of proprietary connectors or protocols to public documentation.

We test our products early and often in real operating conditions.

Our engineering principles—rapid iteration, mission understanding, early and continuous testing, scalability, aesthetic design, and openness—drive us to develop superior technology solutions for some of the most critical jobs on the planet. By adhering to these values, we ensure our products meet the highest standards of performance, usability, and integration, helping our users focus on their mission.

Interested in joining? Find open roles here.

More from our team