A live plant that swings a machete using a robotic arm

A live plant that swings a machete using a robotic arm

Plants’ defense mechanisms are usually limited to things like thorns, stinging hairs, irritating oils, and toxic compounds. Sickles are not among them, to put it mildly. But in his quest to explore the intersection between robots and the natural world, artist David Bowen He armed a philodendron with a sharp, sharp blade, and every blow, slice, and swipe is directed by the plant itself.

David Bowen

Watching “Plant Machete” in action is a bit fanciful. The multi-link robotic arm rotates and rotates, and the blade oscillates back and forth in a threatening fashion. The plant appears to resist humans who approach it, warning us that it is no longer defenseless. Skeptics may immediately wonder if this annoying symptom is actually controlled by a computer program, but is the result of EEG sensors that translate electrical signals inside the plant into motions.

Close-up view of a file

Close-up view of a file

The system uses an open source Arduino microcontroller attached to the plant to read these signals through the leaves of the plant. Bowen’s custom software maps them in real time to the movements of the joints in the arm using the scythe. This essentially makes the plant the “mind” for the composition. Bowen mounted the plant on the wall and photographed the results in all their glory.

Another recent project by Bowen is called “Drone” The plant gave the improbable ability to fly. As with Plant Machete, this project translated real-time rheostat data collected from a live onboard plant into motions: left-to-right, front-to-back, and up-and-down motions. This allowed the factory to experiment Dronewith a mounted LED that creates long exposure graphics in the night sky and traces its path.

similarly, “fly pistol” It tracks the movements of flies inside an acrylic ball with a target background, processes them with custom software and outputs them to a robotic device that targets a gun. Collectively, these projects may elicit a sense of unease in viewers. What if plants and animals could really use our weapons against us? What would that say about our accountability to them, and the consequences of our actions?

“Using intersections between natural and mechanical systems, I produce unique relationships within my sculptures and installations,” Bowen says in his artistic statement. “with RoboticsI create devices that are tuned to interact with the physical, virtual, and natural world. The devices I create often play the role of both observer and creator, providing limited and automated perspectives on dynamic states and living systems. These devices and situations create a dissonance that leads to an incalculably changing situation with unpredictable results.”

It may seem silly to imagine that plants have the ability to communicate with us, but scientists have found evidence that they speak to each other in languages ​​we don’t record or understand. UK-based computer scientist Andrew Adamatsky Recently published a study In it he compared the electrical signals in mushrooms with human language, and found that their patterns could be interpreted as up to 50 different words. In another study, ecologist Susan Simard Show how trees “talk” to each other By sending nutrients to each other through a network of fungi buried in the soil.

the post Nature Strikes Back: A live plant swings a machete using a robotic arm First appeared in Dornop.

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