Enter Elowan, a cybernetic plant unveiled this month by Sareen and his team. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid moves in response to the plant’s light demands. When light shines on its leaves, the plant elicits bioelectrochemical signals, which the electrodes detect and transmit to the wheeled robot below. The robot then moves towards the light.
Elowan is more than just a plant on wheels. Sareen and his colleagues claim their project is an example of part-organic, part-artificial entities that may become more common in the future. Many of the functions we find in electronics — for example, the ability to sense surroundings and display data — first existed in nature. And they’re often more efficient and resilient in the natural world, less prone to wear, tear, and environmental damage. By identifying and interpreting the way plants function, the researchers hope to turn them into biohybrids that power, monitor, and converge with their technological surroundings.
This isn’t the first plant-robot partnership we’ve encountered. Vincross CEO Sun Tianqi created a robot tasked with keeping a succulent alive by monitoring its surrounding. But Elowan might be the most interesting. It takes the partnership one step further by directly connecting the plant with the machine. — https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/elowan-is-a-cyborg-plant-that-can-move-towards-the-light/