The future of robotics is fascinating but creepy. Robots can be programmed to ‘feel emotions’ (or at least look like they can) and behave very much like people. We have seen a taste of what the world of robotics might be like someday in all the sci-fi movies we’ve watched. But what if it turns out to be nothing like that? What if the real world of robotics is beyond anything we can imagine right now? Now even robotic plants can learn to grow, just like real plants.
I know what you are probably thinking. Why would anyone want to build a robotic plant? Right now, these plants will be used for underground exploration, which seems legit. I still wouldn’t want one in my house though. It’s the kind of thing that would keep me awake at night.
Barbara Mazzolai and her team at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa are in the process of creating this robotic plant that mimics the behavior of real plants. This system has roots like real plants, and just like the real ones, it knows if the water, temperature, PH, etc. is off balance. The roots of these robot plants grow underground, and they do that by prioritizing the environmental stimuli.
In addition to underground exploration, these plants could also be used in a lot of other industries, including applications in space and medicine. They will also be able to provide data about how real plants interact with each other through their roots. You can read the source article linked below for more detailed information.
I can understand and appreciate that this is groundbreaking technology, but it doesn’t take away from how creepy it is. There is just something about autonomous robots that I don’t like, even if it’s just a plant. But then again, the technology in our smartphones is more powerful than this, so I guess it’s all in how you look at it.
Robot Plants That Can Learn To Grow Just Like Real Plants
Via: [New Scientist]