Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday December 07 2018, @02:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the sieze-the-light dept.

MIT researchers create a robot houseplant that moves on its own

Meet Elowan, a "cybernetic lifeform" that connects a houseplant with a machine that responds to its basic need for light (and is presumably named after the sentient plant creatures in Starflight 3). When a regular plant needs light, it fires off internal electrical signals that cause it to bend and grow towards it. When Elowan needs light, these internal electrical signals are interpreted by a machine that then simply wheels the plant towards the light. The plant can essentially move itself around because it needs to.

"Plants have natural bioelectrochemical signals inside them," explains Harpeet Sareen, assistant professor at Parsons School of Design. "They get excited in response to environmental conditions and conduct these signals between tissues and organs. Such electrical signals are produced in response to changes in light, gravity, mechanical stimulation, temperature, wounding, and more. They are electrically active systems readily occurring in nature."

Add self-watering and we're good to go.

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by Spamalope on Friday December 07 2018, @02:06PM (1 child)

    by Spamalope (5233) on Friday December 07 2018, @02:06PM (#771136) Homepage

    I have a house plant that doesn't do well in direct summer sunlight. A pot that moved towards the inner edge of the window sill mid day in the summer and rotates the plant so it grows evenly would make the plant happier and would only require it to move 6-8 inches. Still useless in terms of a product worth paying for though.

    On the other hand, something that could determine whether the plant would do better with more or less light (and water/temp/Ph etc) in real time so those things could be optimized would help hydroponics folks.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07 2018, @07:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07 2018, @07:30PM (#771270)

    So a fancy pot growing pot? There's money in that.