An Amazing Robot Powered by Electrical Signals Generated From a House Plant Reacting to Light

Elowan Plant Robot Hybrid Lights

Researchers Harpreet Sareen and Pattie Maes of the MIT Media Lab has created Elowan, an incredible cybernetic robot that is powered by bio-electrical signals generated by a simple photophilic house plant via metal electrodes that were placed into the soil in order to encourage dialogue between plant and machine. The results were self-evident as the plant was positioned between two lamps that would alternately shine on the plant. Elowan remarkably moved in accordance with the lights.

Elowan is a cybernetic lifeform, a plant in direct dialogue with a machine. Using its own internal electrical signals, the plant is interfaced with a robotic extension that drives it toward light. …Such symbiotic interplay with the artificial could be extended further with exogenous extensions that provide nutrition, growth frameworks, and new defense mechanisms. … plants are self-powered, self-regenerating, and self-fabricating organisms. In short, plants might be the best kind of “electronics” we have, something we can only strive to get to in the artificial world.

via Gizmodo