Robot Looks After the Plant on its Head

Back in school you might remember learning that plants are “heliotropic,” meaning they grow towards light, with green tendrils stretching out to the sun. But what if plants could do more than stretch? What if they could move like animals, independently of their roots? Evolution hasn’t got there yet, but it turns out humans can help. A Chinese roboticist has made it happen with a six-legged robot made by his company Vincross to carry a potted plant on its back. The resulting plant-robot hybrid looks like a leafy crab. It moves towards the sunshine when needed, and retreats to shade when it’s had enough. It’ll “play” with a human if you tap it, and can even make its needs known; performing a little stompy dance when it’s out of water. It’s not clear who the plant actually monitors its environment, but it wouldn’t be too hard to integrate these functions with some basic light, shade, and moisture sensors. Would you like to have one of these crawling around your home?…….Ed

Source: James Vincen / Photo: Sun Tianqi

Posted in All Stories, Ed McMahon

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