Plant hack

Scientists are exploring ways how to make the electrical signals of plants useful. So far, progress is being made in using such signals for robotics.

A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore has developed a device that can deliver electrical signals to and from plants to control their movement or to know their response to the environment, Science Daily reported.

The team proved that it can be done by “using a smartphone to transmit electric pulses to the device at a specific frequency” which made an insect-eating Venus flytrap close its leaves. The breakthrough may pave the way for the development of robot grippers that can pick up fragile objects, according to Science Daily.

Meanwhile, distress signals produced by plants and monitored through the device can give farmers advance warning of potential disease and take precautionary measures, the report said.

An unusual plant-based robot was invented by artist David Bowen. He fitted a house plant with a microcontroller that processes electrical signals picked up from leaves to make a robotic arm move, New York Post reported.

Bowen posted on Twitter a video showing how the contraption works and it went viral. Nearly 11 million viewers watched in awe as the robotic arm with attached machete swings and jabs the bolo.

The video also shows the robo-plant “twirling the machete with the deftness and fluidity of a samurai,” according to NYP.

Except for probably starring in a horror movie, Twitteratis wonder what the hacked plant’s whacking antics would serve for.

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