The robot prototype Lero developed within the EXIST Research Transfer funded project PlantMap is now in the test phase at the AI Market Garden of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Bohmte and will be intensively tested in the next months. Based on the developed technologies 3D environment mapping, 3D mesh navigation, Move Base Flex Navigation Control, 3D Plant Mapping and Plant Instance Segmentation, Lero can autonomously navigate, operate, and deploy in complex, uneven, and arbitrarily-structured cropping systems, such as vegetable, fruit, and vine crops, as well as agroforestry.

Despite delivery difficulties, only eight months from development to prototype

The development of the Lero started with the project launch of the EXIST Research Transfer funded project Plant Map in October 2021 and ended with the assembly of the components in May 2022. Despite delivery difficulties, the robot was built within only eight months. The robot prototype will initially be used as a sensor carrier for plant monitoring before other use cases may be possible in the future. Lero’s omnidirectional drive (all motors can be steered and driven), for example, offers matrix driving. In the near future, Lero will be able to navigate autonomously in its target environment and create a 3D plant map of the beds.

More information to follow soon.


Lars Schilling



Funding source

The EXIST Research Transfer is a funding program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and is co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and supports both necessary development work to prove the technical feasibility of research-based start-up ideas and necessary preparations for the start of the company. The EXIST program is divided into two funding phases and generally extends over a funding period of three years.

The BMWK funding program EXIST Research Transfer is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF). The ESF is one of the European Structural and Investment Funds (further information).

Example image Example image Example image Example image Example image