Digital agriculture: connected farms and farmers

From today until 2050, a challenge has been set for the agricultural industry and all its participants: produce more, and better. For farmers and operators, this will involve optimizing working practices and energy consumption on a daily basis.

Big Data for farming: collecting data and facilitating accuracy

Using Wi-Fi to anticipate agricultural risks

Wireless sensor networks (WSN) are a promising technology currently finding its niche as a way of complementing existing solutions and anticipating risks. 


[Video] Drones and robots used in precision agriculture

The simulation helps to better understand the combined use of intelligent drones and robots to treat crops efficiently.


Green House Keeper: Efficient remote maintenance and monitoring for gardens

Dashboard (operational status of equipment and values collected by sensors connected to the plant) © GH

With Green House Keeper, you can monitor and maintain your garden efficiently from your Smartphone or tablet.


Using the web to save beets

© Perfbet Project

A closer look at Perfbet: an interactive, free, web-based decision-making support tool, developed to improve productivity for the beet harvest.


Optimizing energy consumption on farms

Focus on methods and tools for the real-time acquisition of specific energy consumption information on farms.

Monitoring and improving crop health and decreasing input doses

Phenotyping beets: 2 new tools

As part of the AKER Investments for the Future program designed to improve the competitiveness of beets, in 2018 and 2019, Irstea is developing several tools to phenotype 3000 genotypes, currently being selected, in the field:

  • root sensor to measure levels of sucrose and dry matter in beets using near infrared spectroscopy
  • multispectral or hyperspectral cameras onboard a drone with an RGB camera in order to measure plant height, leaf surface area at various stages, chlorophyll and nitrogen levels.

Find out more on the AKER program website


Agricultural machinery: tires loaded with sensors

Researchers have developed and patented a tire sensor capable of mapping soil compaction within plots. This will help farmers make necessary decisions, such as avoiding passing over sensitive areas, etc.


"Connected" innovation: reducing pesticides in viticulture

© Irstea / V. De Rudniki

Comprising an onboard data monitoring and recording system, PICORE allows wine growers to optimize settings on their sprayers while ensuring treatment quality.


Drones and robots to help farmers

Robot convoys in fields soon

© Irstea / C. Tailleux

Researchers are exploring an even more cutting-edge concept: replacing heavy agricultural equipment with a fleet of medium-sized machines driving in an autonomous convoy.


PUMAgri, robot weeders will be in the fields soon!



Combining safety, environmental awareness and productivity, a new project has just been launched. Its aim is to develop a robotic solution dedicated to mechanical weeding in vegetable crops.

Monitoring pastures with a mobile robot

© I-LEED Project

The European i-LEED project aims to optimize the feed process for dairy cows through the innovative management of rationed pastures. A mobile robot is responsible for measuring the quality and quantity of grazing pasture in each plot so that, using information such as animal weight and quantity of milk produced, it is possible to help farmers adjust and move the animals. Data is transmitted to user devices in real time through the I-Leed software.

Specifically, Irstea researchers are working on planning robot trajectories across plots as well as developing control laws to ensure robots move in a safe and precise manner across pasture areas. A demonstrator will be unveiled between 2018-2019.

Partners: LFL, Ege, Irstea, DSP-Agrosoft and Effidence.

A robot for detecting diseases

A new project led by Irstea Phenaufol (2017-2019) aims to perfect an autonomous robot linked to phenotyping tools, data processing and sensors, to improve the detection, quantification and classification of beet leaf diseases. It will be used to automate the monitoring of illnesses in crops without having to take samples manually, a time-consuming and arduous task. The robot will be able to provide reliable information to planters so that they can make an appropriate variety choice. The information may have a direct impact on crop management techniques and income. 

A robot capable of mapping the volume of plants that need to be treated before spraying

At Montpellier and Clermont Ferrand, Irstea teams are developing a robot capable of recording the areas that need to be treated within vine rows, using 3D or Lidar cameras.

The AdAP2E project (Irstea project) will be used to create a robot capable of treating vines and performing other tasks within the plots. It could therefore include a variety of instant and global criteria using maps of plant zones to be treated and would be capable of avoiding over- or under-dosing. The aim is definitely to help farmers, especially wine growers, plan spraying and monitoring in real time as well as geographically.

The project was presented to the public at the 2016 International Agricultural Show.

© Irstea


Publication of the Springer Handbook of Robotics, to which Irstea contributed

An authoritative repository of global knowledge of robotics, the 2nd edition of the Springer Handbook of Robotics has been published. The new edition has been enhanced with videos and new chapters, to which Roland Lenain, Irstea researcher specializing in agricultural robotics, has contributed.