Elowan Plant-Robot Hybrid
MIT researchers have created Elowan, which is basically a cybernetic lifeform, or a plant in direct dialogue with a machine. This plant-robot hybrid is interfaced through its own electrochemical signals with a robotic extension that drives it towards light. Since plants have natural bioelectrochemical signals inside them, they get excited in response to environmental conditions and conduct these signals between tissues as well as organs. Read more for a video and additional information.



Put simply, Elowan is an attempt to demonstrate what augmentation of nature could mean. Its robotic base is a new symbiotic association with a plant. The agency of movement rests with the plant based on its own bio-electrochemical signals. In this experiment, electrodes were inserted into stems and ground, while the weak signals are then amplified and sent to the robot, making it move in respective directions.