DRoB - Drones and robotics for efficient monitoring and management of green facades or roofs

Strategic transdisciplinary networking of experts for the analysis of innovative monitoring and management systems for green facades and roofs. The aim is to demonstrate the potential of different UAV sensors for vegetation monitoring and robots for maintenance measurements of green façades.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Building and vertical greening are increasingly appreciated in contemporary urban planning. After installation of green facades or roofs, control and maintenance measures are necessary. At the moment, this requires a relatively complex, manual workflow. The project proposal DRoB aims to explore technologies of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) -borne remote sensing and robotics to evaluate their applicability in the area of maintenance measures for green façades.

Contents and goals

The objective of this project is to identify suitable sensors (e.g. multi-spectral, thermal) for vegetation monitoring, which can be carried by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV, drones).


The spectral reflective characteristics of typical plants used for green walls will be assessed with various remote sensing devices. At the same time, stress situations (e.g. drought) will be simulated to assess changes in reflection and emission. In the next step, a UAV will be equipped with the particular sensors to test their applicability for vegetation monitoring of green facades.

The UAV-flights will be based on the experiences in the areas of agriculture and forestry and especially adapted to the particular difficulties of green façades (view of the vegetation, the orientation of the façade, ...). DRoB aspires to use very small UAVs due to the demanding legal situation of UAV flights in populated areas.

Additionally, the technical pre-requisites for the development of robots for maintenance measurements of green façades will be evaluated. The aim is a conceptual design of a rail-guided mowing/cutting robot, which can be used for maintenance works on green façades.

Expected results

The opportunities of a UAV based monitoring system and a robotic-based maintenance system will be analyzed in close coordination and their market potential will be assessed. The final synthesis of the technical possibilities and the economic conditions will be the basis for a long-term realization of an efficient maintenance and control system for green walls and a subsequent integration of the BIM (building information modelling).

Project Partners

Project management

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna,

  • Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information (IVFL)
  • Institute of Soil Bioengineering and Landscape Construction (IBLB)

Project or cooperation partners

  • LEHI - Copters KG
  • GrünStattGrau Forschungs- und Innovations-GmbH
  • alchemia-nova GmbH

Contact Address

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna,
Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information (IVFL)
Markus Immitzer
Peter-Jordan-Str 82
A-1190 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 47654 85732
Fax: +43 (1) 47654 85709
E-mail: markus.immitzer@boku.ac.at
Web: http://short.boku.ac.at/DRoB