Outstaffing to Sri Lanka: Developing an App for FarmDroid’s Robots

Success Story

Outstaffing to Sri Lanka: Developing an App for FarmDroid’s Robots
Success Story

Customer profile

FarmDroid, a company based in Vejen, Denmark, pioneers the world’s first fully automatic seeding and weeding robot, powered entirely by solar energy. With a mission to assist farmers in reducing manual labor costs and grow economically sustainable crops in an eco-friendly way, FarmDroid operates globally across more than 20 countries, celebrating Robot #500 in June 2024.

By using high precision GPS-seeding, the robot knows the exact position of each seed, making weeding possible both between the rows and inside the row between the plants.
  • Christian Stilling
    Technical Project Manager
  • Thomas Vilsmark
    Head of R&D
  • FarmDroid

Business goals

During the first years of operation, there was a growing requirement from FarmDroid’s customers to be able to track the progress of the robot remotely through FarmDroid’s proprietary app. This app was developed by a large external software developer on a project basis.

But over time FarmDroid encountered challenges in project management, limited documentation and stagnant release processes.
This setup worked for three years. However, the setup was very rigid and eventually it became clear to us that it was not the way forward, as development needs to become more agile with shorter deadlines. So in early 2023 we had a discussion internally in FarmDroid to find a better development setup.
— Christian Christensen
FarmDroid FD20

Collaboration with Duklas

The partnership of FarmDroid and Duklas started in August 2023.

For FarmDroid, a major change from the previous setup was shifting from a project-based engagement to an outstaffing model, where Duklas’ team acts as part of the FarmDroid team. This change eliminated constant discussions about scope, cost, and timeframe.
We were concerned about project handover from the previous partner and onboarding a new team. But we got up and running quickly. Most importantly we were looking for a software development partner with a solution-oriented mindset, who is willing to understand where the problem is and offer solutions.
— Thomas Olesen
First, FarmDroid granted Duklas access to the stage environment with the initial task to analyze and make sense of the existing source code, given the lack of documentation.
After one month we knew we had made the right choice. Duklas had acquired understanding of the code libraries and environment and was able to compile a working app on their servers. We were impressed.
— Christian Christensen
Within the next 6 months, Duklas’ team has documented development and testing processes, enabling further development clarity and continuity.

Duklas delivered the required technical expertise at this stage, so cooperation continued. Duklas and FarmDroid proceeded with further agile development of the web and mobile apps, expanding the development team based in Sri Lanka.
We have never worked with Sri Lanka before. And had some worries: language barrier, competence level, time difference, and holidays — but none of that was ever a problem.
— Thomas Olesen
Duklas' team in Colombo office,
Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan team has exhibited technical expertise, work ethics, discipline and proactive problem-solving approach.

The current outstaffing setup has proven to be efficient:

  • FarmDroid's product and project managers specify requirements and determine the product development strategy.
  • Duklas provides a team in Sri Lanka, employed in Duklas’ own subsidiary: backend developer, mobile developer, frontend developer, QA engineer, designer, and architect. The architect also acts as the project manager for the Sri Lankan team.
  • Designers engage directly with FarmDroid to discuss and approve designs.
  • Daily meetings are held to review progress and plan sprints, fostering agile development.
The daily dialog with Duklas is open minded, they often come with recommendations for improvements. They are open about delays and challenges that arise during development, they pick up the phone and help you when you need it. The best I can say about Duklas is: They take pride and ownership of their work.
— Christian Christensen
FarmDroid’s Warehouse


It’s essential for FarmDroid that the development team understands their expectations, as well as the needs of end users — the farmers. To share insights into farmer mindset, FarmDroid provided user guides, visual materials, virtual droids and farmer feedback to Duklas’ team.
End of April – beginning of May is a peak season for FarmDroid. We get a lot of feedback from farmers. And whenever there’s an error, or a bug, I appreciate the sense of urgency that Duklas’ team demonstrates and their solution-oriented approach. We share some feedback from farmers, and the team is ready to jump in, identify a problem and offer a solution quickly. That’s much appreciated.
— Thomas Olesen
With this approach and agile development, significant enhancements were made to both the web and mobile applications for farmers:

1. Added new features to the web application
In the web portal, farmers can configure robot settings and monitor seeding and weeding progress.

2. Transitioned from a hybrid to a fully native mobile app for iOS and Android
The mobile app was rebuilt using Flutter. The native app enhances performance and user experience compared to the previous hybrid version.

3. Integrated the mobile app with the Setup Tool for simplified field mapping
Introduced a new simplified process to mark the field. Farmers no longer need to attach the robot to a tractor and drive around the field to mark its boundaries. This process was time consuming and challenging for irregular shaped fields. Now the Setup Tool, equipped with a GPS receiver, is integrated with a mobile app, allowing farmers to mark corner points and obstacles such as trees and power poles directly within the mobile app. This reduced the time required for farmers to initiate robot operations in the field.

4. Introduced automated CI/CD process, enabling rapid releases of new software versions within a minute
With automatic pipelines in place, new versions can be published quickly, with less than 1 second downtime. That means that updated versions are promptly made available to end users.
FarmDroid Web Portal


Mobile development: Flutter
Web app: React
Backend: Node.js, TypeScript, WebSocket
Database management: PostgreSQL
Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol (NTRIP) for streaming GPS coordinates
Real-time kinematic positioning (RTK) for integration of base stations


Approaching one year of successful partnership, the collaboration between FarmDroid and Duklas has produced tangible results.

  • Clear documentation and knowledge transfer
Comprehensive documentation covering development, testing and release processes has been created, facilitating understanding and continuity within the project. Effective team setup and established knowledge transfer processes ensure better communication and alignment between teams.

  • Stable and continuously improving apps
Both the web and mobile applications are stable and continue to undergo enhancements. Notably, there has been a significant reduction in support tickets reported by farmers, indicating improved reliability and user experience.
Last year we experienced bugs in the mobile app, now most of them are resolved and updating to the latest version usually solves the problem. Now we are at a point where we are comfortable and considering offering farmers to be part of beta test programs.
— Thomas Olesen
Building on their success, in April 2024, FarmDroid launched their Spot-Application System that helps conventional farmers reduce the consumption of plant protection substances by more than 90% while also enabling spot dosing of liquid fertilizer. Both applications support the vision of making plant cultivation more sustainable through robotic solutions.
Stefan Pedersen, Founder of Duklas, and Thomas Olesen, Head of R&D at FarmDroid
Duklas is proud to contribute to this innovation journey. We prioritize honest and open communication, ensuring shared expectations with our customers. Our commitment is to provide solid software development teams and reliable technical expertise.
— Stefan Pedersen, Founder of Duklas

Reach out to discuss your software development needs

With its own subsidiaries in Sri Lanka and Armenia, Duklas can provide highly skilled developers for your projects.