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.