By Sara Barnes on October 6, 2022
Believe it or not, the plant is the brain behind this slashing, swiping, and jabbing robot arm holding a machete.
Artist David Bowen is giving a philodendron control in his fascinating installation called Plant Machete. As the name suggests, a live plant has the power to wield a giant knife. It sounds like the work of science fiction, but the creative’s interest in robotics has culminated in a control system that “reads and utilizes the electrical noises found in a live philodendron.” The plant acts as the brain of the robot arm and determines how the machete swings, jabs, and slices into the space around it.
Plant Machete is attached to a wall, and Bowen has hooked up sensors to the leaves. The leaves then send signals to custom-crafted software which maps the movements to the joints of the arm and the knife. Bowen filmed the piece in action, and it’s incredible to watch the robot move knowing that every one of its actions is dictated not by humans or AI, but by a houseplant. You never expect greenery to assert this level of control.
The plant acts as the brain of the robot arm and determines how the machete moves in space, from swings, jabs, and slices.
Source: Watch a Living Plant Wield a Machete With a Robot Arm