Bandeau NINSAR


Innovative agroecological pathways leveraging collaborative robotics

The large-scale deployment of agroecological principles requires the ability to act discriminately, precisely, and frequently on crops. This implies the need for a workforce that is increasingly difficult to recruit due to the associated labor-intensive tasks. Therefore, the use of robotic tools appears as a promising lever that needs to be developed. However, the constraints in terms of productivity, precision, environmental and crop variability require robotic capabilities that are still in their infancy or hard to achieve with a single robot. The Ninsar project aims to conduct ambitious research based on the design of agroecological pathways that utilize a fleet of elementary robots with cooperation and feedback capabilities with the environment. Such an approach, which departs from current developments, requires numerous advancements, both in terms of defining new agricultural practices and robotics development.

This project is structured as an iterative approach centered on the experimental evaluation of robotic developments:

  • Definition of several agroecological practices of interest ;
  • Data acquisition for robot mission planning ;
  • Innovative robot design for agroecology ;
  • Enhancement of perception capabilities for adaptation and decision-making ;
  • Development of robot behaviors in interaction with crops ;
  • Development of a multi-robot management and coordination system.

To achieve this, the project will first rely on experimental resources implemented under the Equipex+ Tirrex program (Roboterrium). It will also aim to integrate other advancements in the fields of agronomy, mechatronic design, and human understanding of new technologies. The project's outcomes will extend beyond the strict scope of developing innovative robotic systems for agriculture. As the project progresses, the progress achieved within Ninsar will enable short-term applications for adapting existing agricultural equipment and/or implementing agroecological practices compatible with the increasing maturity of new technologies.

The consortium comprises 17 teams from 10 partners, most of which are already involved in the EQUIPEX+ TIRREX (Terrestrial Robotics known as Roboterrium), providing access to state-of-the-art robotic infrastructures and equipment.


Duration: 2022 - 2027

Funding: €2,600,000 for 60 months

Project lead institution: Inria

Scientific co-leaders: Philippe Martinet (Inria), Roland Lenain (INRAE), Yann Perrot (CEA)

Keywords: agroecology, collaborative robotics, artificial intelligence

Reference: ANR-22-PEAE-0007

Modification date: 08 April 2024 | Publication date: 06 September 2023 | By: AgroEcoNum