Integrated robotic and software platform as a support system for farm level business decisions (ROBOFARM)

The full project title is “ROBOFARM – Integrated robotic and software platform as a support system for farm level business decisions”.
RoboFarm is an European project funded by the EU as part of the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7).
The project has started in September 2011 and will end in August 2013

ROBOFARM aims to create a technology platform that integrates and harmonizes existing software and hardware technologies into a single system and makes use of robots equipped with sensors and active vision systems to automatically collect data from the field, feeding a farm management DSS and considering the agronomical, environmental and food safety aspects

The research will integrate a hardware and software platform in a single system and in an innovative approach that makes use of robotic systems. The use of robots to detect and collect data is novel in terms of methodology and application. On the method side, differently from other approaches, the system will be able to infer complex situations and behavioral patterns by merging the contribution of several simple sensors distributed in the environment and carried around by the robot. On the application perspective, context awareness through distributed sensors will allow to recall information about data collected by way of middleware distributed control system. ROBOFARM activities build on previous research. The FutureFarm project (FP7, Meeting the challenges of the farm of tomorrow by integrating Farm Management Information Systems to support real-time management decisions and compliance to standards) provided a comprehensive guideline for the design of any information and management system. The OMNIAFARM software platform provides a sound basis to create the Farm Management Information Systems integrating a DSS in irrigation, fertilization, treatments and in the correct use of regulations, and adhering to the FutureFarm guidelines. The Hortibot project (Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, 2005-2008, j. no. 3412-05-01241) and the API project (Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, 2001-2003, j. no. 93S-2466-Ã…00-01367) developed data collection methods allowing monitoring of crop growth status and mapping of weed species populations.