ROBOT (a recursive acronym for “ROBOT is an OBO Tool”) is an open source library and command-line tool for automating ontology development tasks. It supports automation of a wide range of ontology development tasks, focusing on Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) conventions. ROBOT packages common high-level ontology development functionality into a convenient library, and makes it easy to configure, combine, and execute individual tasks in comprehensive, automated workflows. This helps ontology developers to efficiently create, maintain, and release high-quality ontologies, and helps guarantee that released ontologies are free of certain types of logical errors and conform to standard quality control checks.


  • R.C. Jackson, J.P. Balhoff, E. Douglass, N.L. Harris, C.J. Mungall, and J.A. Overton. ROBOT: A tool for automating ontology workflows. BMC Bioinformatics, vol. 20, July 2019.
  • Overton, J. A., Dietze, H., Essaid, S., Osumi-sutherland, D., & Mungall, C. J. (2015). ROBOT : A command-line tool for ontology development. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO) (pp. 131–132). Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Creating an ontology project