Elowan – symbiotic robot for growing ideal plants

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<pre>Elowan - symbiotic robot for growing ideal plants

The Elowan project can be called an attempt to create cyborg plants. The concept is to learn how to improve the vital activity of a plant by connecting it to external “smart systems”. Those, based on signals directly from the plant, will be able to change its environment in the right direction. It sounds fantastic, but the program already has working prototypes.

They started working on the development of a robot gardener at MIT Media Lab, where they built the world's first “smart and mobile” flower pot. Elowan sensors are implanted in the flesh of the plant and measure the electrochemical reactions occurring in it. The data is analyzed in order to understand whether the plant has enough light at this particular moment and which part of it is needed. After that, the wheel platform simply unwraps the pot and brings it sideways closer to the ultraviolet lamp.

The Elowan system does not measure the brightness of the light, does not pay attention to the air temperature – it makes a decision only on the basis of data from the living plant itself. A kind of personal implant to find the best conditions for life. And about what the “best” means, Elowan understands through a kind of “language” of plants, deciphering the signals about the processes occurring in them and the reaction of the living entity to changes.

The robot can also be configured for other parameters, for example, to maintain optimal leaf lengths, control the plant's absorption rate of liquids, and develop the ability to resist toxins in it. And thus grow plants with given parameters, without resorting to the use of nitrates and GMOs.

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