link to homepage

Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften

Navigation and service


Gardening with a Cognitive System

The GARNICS project aims at 3D sensing of plant growth and building perceptual representations for learning the links to actions of a robot gardener. Plants are complex, self-changing systems with increasing complexity over time. Actions performed at plants (like watering), will have strongly delayed effects.

Thus, monitoring and controlling plants is a difficult perception-action problem requiring advanced predictive cognitive properties, which so far can only be provided by experienced human gardeners. We address plant sensing and control by combining active vision with appropriate perceptual representations, which are essential for cognitive interactions.

Using these representations, plant models will be acquired and by interacting with a human gardener the system will be taught the different cause-effect relations resulting from possible treatments. Employing decision making and planning processes, our robot gardener will then be able to choose from its learned repertoire the appropriate actions for optimal plant growth. This way we will arrive at an adaptive, interactive cognitive system, which will be implemented and tested in an industrially-relevant plant-growth application.


in English sounds like robotics, technics, electronics, genomics or other -omics and is thus well suited for a plant-related ICT project. Being an acronym it seems to have no other meaning.

However, in German it sounds like gar nichts meaning absolutely nothing. It therefore reminds to the Greek mythology where Ulysses defeats the Cyclops by claiming his name was No-Man.


is a project supported in the 7th Framework Programme - Information and Communication Technologies FP7-ICT-247947 GARNICS
Coordination: Hanno Scharr, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Partner: Linkopings Universitet (Sweden), Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany) and Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Barcelona (Spain)

Project duration: 2010/03/01 - 2013/02/28