CORDIS - EU research results

Galileo-assisted robot to tackle the weed Rumex obtusifolius and increase the profitability and sustainability of dairy farming

Project description

Training robots to remove weeds from dairy farms

Dairy farmers are always searching for long-term solutions to control persistent weeds in grasslands. While herbicides are effective, they also contaminate the soil, water, food and air. The EU-funded GALIRUMI will develop a robot weeding for herbicide-free weed control in dairy farming. By eliminating the use of herbicides, dairy farmers will be able to switch to organic production. The project will develop and demonstrate this new anti-weed technology, which makes use of autonomous vehicles, computer vision and robot-as-a-service for precision dairy farming based on precise navigation provided by the European Global Navigation Satellite System.


Agriculture provides humans with necessary food and raw materials, but its environmental impact is unacceptably high. Much effort is underway to make agriculture more sustainable, for example through precision agriculture or organic agriculture. In all of agriculture, controlling weeds is a major issue. Weed control with herbicides leads to a large environmental impact. Manual weed control leads to back-breaking labour, high labour costs, and difficulties of finding sufficient labour.
The main objective of GALIRUMI is to deliver robot weeding for herbicide-free weed control in dairy farming. Robotic weeding will reduce the environmental impact of dairy farming by eliminating herbicide use and reducing exposure of farm workers to herbicides. It will also remove an important obstacle for dairy farmers to switch to organic production, thereby contributing to an increase in production of organically produced milk and higher incomes for farmers.
GALIRUMI will develop and demonstrate a number of innovative technologies in weed detection, weed degradation, autonomous vehicles and robot-as-a-service for precision dairy farming based on precise navigation provided by EGNSS. Several areas of expertise are needed for successful development of practical robotic weeding:
• Computer vision for weed detection
• Construction of farm machinery
• Providing services to farmers
• Weed science
• Dairy research
The robotic weeding control system is the end product that GALIRUMI is aiming to put into practice and commercialise, proposed by dock weeding as a service either by:
• Laser defoliation system using small robot that requires frequent application in the field.
• Medium sized robot system with an electrocution tool that requires single season application in the field.
GALIRUMI will significantly reduce manual labour for weeding, weed management cost, damage to grassland from the application of herbicide, impact of dairy farming on the environment and dairy cow discomfort

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 188 475,00
39011 Santander

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Noroeste Cantabria Cantabria
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 269 250,00

Participants (6)