ROMI is a four-year Europe-funded research project committed to promote a sustainable, local, and human-scale agriculture. It is developing an affordable, multipurpose platform adapted to support organic and polyculture market-garden farms.

The platform constitutes robotic tools, research, data and shared documentation and aims to help farming communities increase their production and improve their working conditions.

Open-source robotic tools can assist farmers in completing physically demanding or tedious tasks and can help with planning complex planting. Over four years, ROMI will work on the development of three robotic tools: a mechanical weeding robot, an aerial robot for crop monitoring and a 3D scanner for phenotyping in indoor and outdoor environments.

Undertaking research directly in the field means ROMI can develop with the expertise of professional farmers. The efficiency and usability of robotic tools are tested across four seasons at two core sites: Chatelain Maraîchage near Paris and at Valldaura Self-sufficiency Labs near Barcelona. Additional community sites may be used for research as the project develops.

ROMI is working on advanced 3D plant analysis and modelling techniques for indoor and in-field data acquisition. Collecting and analysing data can aid in the development of dashboards that can help monitor the status of farms and provide situated plant data for agronomy. ROMI is working with novel adaptive learning techniques to deal with unexpected situations.

A new generation of farmers are starting small innovative market gardens in rural, peri-urban and urban areas across Europe. These farms often grow polycultures of up to 100 different varieties per year on small surfaces between 0.01 to 5 hectares. Polyculture and organic microfarms are proving to be highly productive, sustainable and economical, yet some of the on-the-ground experiences of farming communities are still unknown. ROMI aims to develop a better understanding of this emerging field through research, events and the development of specialised techniques and tools.

ROMI is an open source, open-hardware project which allows communities to adapt and develop designs to their own needs whilst sharing back to a growing community. Documentation, resources and tools are made public as they become available through output of the four-year ROMI research and development.
The project's output is also made publicly available. The resources currently available are listed on our document page.

IAAC develops an aerial robot that can be used by farmers. Iaac also performs real-world tests in the experimental gardens at the Valldaura Self-Sufficient Labs and imagine end-user scenarios. They help deliver the robotics platform to new markets, managing the communication and user communities.
Sony CSL is responsible for the development of the LettuceThink robot. They also contribute to the development of the computer vision and machine learning algorithms, in particular, on the 3D plant scanning and the coupling between the formal plant models and the convolutional neural networks.
The Virtual Plants team brings its strong expertise in the area of 3D plant architecture reconstruction and modelling. Notably, the team develops computer pipelines to reconstruct plant architecture from 3D data, to assess their reconstruction, and to segment the architecture in its constituent organs.
The Adaptive Systems Group expertise lies in models for closed-loop learning and prediction of sensorimotor data, as well as behaviour recognition and generation. The tasks planned will focus on the learning and adaptive techniques for the interaction between robots and plants.
The RDP team has a deep understanding of the development and evolution of plant reproductive systems. RDP leads the advanced sensing and analysis of crops, and brings its expertise on the developmental dynamics and modelling of plant architecture.
Chatelain Pépinières runs a commercial market farm near Paris. They perform field studies to test the efficiency of the weeding robot and the usefulness of the crop monitoring applications in real-world situations.
FEI provides assistance and training for projects partly funded by the European Commission, as coordinator or as partner. FEI intervenes close to them in the administrative, financial coordination and management of their projects.