Who are we ?
In business since 2018, we are scientists and engineers with a background in public research and private companies. Using Open Source technologies, we develop phenotyping, growing and simulation tools for research and plant production.
Phymea was founded by two former ecophysiologists and an engineer in signal processing and robotics. They worked on maize and drought tolerance, while the latter specialised in computer vision and neural networks. Through its activities, Phymea carries out research work that results in the co-writing of scientific articles with the public institutes.
Our team is a mix of complementary profiles, which allows us to bridge the gap between the possibilities offered by technology and the expectations of biologists and agronomists.
In other words, we are able to identify relevant technologies and adapt them to the specific needs of the plant, for makers, growers and researchers.
"If NASA's sending Arduinos into space, why not us into our fields, greenhouses and forests?"
At Phymea, we are passionate and convinced by open source technologies and initiatives such as the Arduino project or the Raspberry Pi Foundation. We have each used these tools throughout our careers, and we have appreciated them for the opportunities they offer in terms of flexibility, precision and reliability.
As former researchers, we have been confronted with the limitations of human observations: limited repeatability, reduced volume and subjective methodology. We believe that one of the solutions is automation: solving the problems inherent to human intervention. We seek to make automation accessible to all those involved in the plant world, especially those with limited means, by adapting Open Source technologies to create reliable and affordable tools.
Why Open Source ?
Open-source technologies unleash creativity.
They are softwares or hardwares whose code and sources are made available to customers, so that they can modify it as they wish. This has subsequently evolved and now refers to royalty-free technologies, which everyone is free to modify and distribute.
They allow, at a lower cost, the design of complex solutions based on technological elements developed and shared by a strong community. This community is made up of academics, researchers, engineers and users, with the watchwords of the common good, sharing and mutual aid. Scientific methodology is omnipresent, and it is naturally accompanied by a permanent openness and questioning. This results in proven and constantly improved technologies to integrate new concepts or techniques. This community and its large-scale experimental approach thus provide Open Source with a guarantee of viability and maturity, which a proprietary technology cannot claim.
Building our developments on top of these technologies allows us to focus on our own aspects, such as plant recognition, measurement, cultivation and modelling. In return, we contribute to enriching the OPEN SOURCE offer on the basis of our specific developments focused on what grows.
It begins with a seed.
While on paper Open Source may be the solution to all problems, in reality these generic technologies are complex and require skills to be put together and "shaped" effectively. We have seen the obstacles that hinder the adoption of these technologies, and we wish to do something about it.
Open Source often surrounds itself with doubts, even fears, which are often legitimate, and which find their source in an apparent complexity, a dilution of information and a generic aspect. It is then easy to think that the implementation of open source technologies is restricted to an expert or informed community.
This is where we come in. Our job is to help you better master these new technologies, to think and carry out your projects, however complex and specialised they may be.
Our business model reflects our values. Many companies develop and sell open source technologies, while having demonstrated their long-term viability. However, in order to survive, they have been able to create a specific communication and development dynamic: the advertising medium becomes a training medium, intellectual property is replaced by continuous development, and the desire to create loyalty becomes a desire to federate.
Following the example of these companies, the commercial approach can become virtuous, it no longer seeks to create a need, but to help you create concrete solutions that are useful to society.
Every company has its challenges, these are ours!