The project Elowan can be called an attempt to create plant-cyborgs. The concept is to learn how to improve the life of the plant, connecting it to an external “smart systems”. The same, based on the signals directly from the plant will be able to change its environment in the desired direction. Sounds fantastic, but the program already has working prototypes.
The development of a robot gardener was doing in the company of the MIT Media Lab, where he built the world’s first “smart mobile” for the flower pot. Elowan sensors implanted in the flesh of the plant and measure occurring in this electrochemical reaction. The data analyzed in order to understand whether the plant enough light at this particular moment and what part of it he needed. Then wheeled platform just expands the pot and dropping him need side closer to the UV lamp.
System Elowan does not measure the brightness of the light, oblivious to the air temperature — it takes the decision based only on information from the living plants. A kind of a personalized implant to search for the best conditions for life. And that means “the best”, Elowan understand through a kind of “language” of plants, the decipherment of signals occurring in them processes and reactions of a living entity changes.
The robot can be configured to different parameters, for example, to maintain an optimal size of the length of the leaves, to control the rate of absorption by the plant fluids to develop in him the ability to resist toxins. And thus to grow plants with the given parameters, without resorting to the use of nitrates and GMOs.
Source — MIT Media Lab