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living plant controls a machete through an industrial robot arm

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David Bowen’S installation ‘plant machete’

 

David Bowen’s installation, ‘Plant Machete,’ enables a living plant to move a machete through an industrial robot‘s bionic-like arm. The installation implements a control system that measures electrical noises found in the living philodendron. This system uses an open source micro-controller connected to the plant, which reads varying resistance signals across the its leaves.

 

The machine’s movements are accomplished by using a custom technology that translates electrical signals from the plant into real-time motion. Embedded patch sensors pick up electric signals from the leaves and transmit them to the machine that contains several joints that determine how the machete swings, jabs, slices, and interacts in space.

living plant controls a machete through an industrial robot arm
the industrial robot is mounted to a wall carrying the wired plant

all images courtesy of David Bowen

 

 

the plant acts as the brain of the robot 

 

Essentially, David Bowen wanted the plant to act as the brain of the robot. The designer, mounted the industrial robot to a wall carrying the wired plant to give the machete space to be moved around. The movements produced by the machete are determined by the inputs from the plant. These signals are then mapped in real-time to the movements of joints on the industrial robot holding the machete.

living plant controls a machete through an industrial robot arm
bionic-like arm measures electrical noises found in a living philodendron

living plant controls a machete through an industrial robot arm
the installation’s control system measures electrical noises found in the living philodendron

plant-machete-david-bowen-designboom-03

plant machete 1
embedded patch sensors pick up electric signals

plant machete 5

plant-machete-david-bowen-designboom-04

 

project info:

 

name: plant machete
designer:  david bowen

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: zaha mango | designboom

 

 

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