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Plants as model in biomimetics and biorobotics: new perspectives.

Mazzolai B, Beccai L, Mattoli V - Front Bioeng Biotechnol (2014)

Bottom Line: This results in movements that are characterized by energy efficiency and high density.Plant materials are optimized to reduce energy consumption during motion and these capabilities offer a plethora of solutions in the artificial world, exploiting approaches that are muscle-free and thus not necessarily animal-like.A few examples are described to lay the perspectives of plants in the artificial world.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia , Pontedera , Italy.

ABSTRACT
Especially in robotics, rarely plants have been considered as a model of inspiration for designing and developing new technology. This is probably due to their radically different operational principles compared to animals and the difficulty to study their movements and features. Owing to the sessile nature of their lifestyle, plants have evolved the capability to respond to a wide range of signals and efficiently adapt to changing environmental conditions. Plants in fact are able to show considerable plasticity in their morphology and physiology in response to variability within their environment. This results in movements that are characterized by energy efficiency and high density. Plant materials are optimized to reduce energy consumption during motion and these capabilities offer a plethora of solutions in the artificial world, exploiting approaches that are muscle-free and thus not necessarily animal-like. Plant roots then are excellent natural diggers, and their characteristics such as adaptive growth, low energy consumption movements, and the capability of penetrating soil at any angle are interesting from an engineering perspective. A few examples are described to lay the perspectives of plants in the artificial world.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The PLANTOID robot. It integrates two roots that implement the elongation movement and the bending motion with a sensorized tip, respectively. In this prototype, the tip connected to the bending root integrates sensors for touch, humidity, temperature, and gravity. The branches integrate artificial leaves based on PEDOT:PSS material that move in response to changes in environmental humidity.
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Figure 1: The PLANTOID robot. It integrates two roots that implement the elongation movement and the bending motion with a sensorized tip, respectively. In this prototype, the tip connected to the bending root integrates sensors for touch, humidity, temperature, and gravity. The branches integrate artificial leaves based on PEDOT:PSS material that move in response to changes in environmental humidity.

Mentions: From these initial achievements, the basic principles learned from the natural root behavior could be validated and, by adding flexibility, the system could be designed to change the direction and navigate around the obstacles. In Figure 1, a first prototype of the PLANTOID is shown. The system has a main trunk to which two roots are connected. One root embodies artificial growth like explained above and it elongates and penetrates the soil by an additive process of material (Sadeghi et al., submitted for publication). Another root integrates the bending capability in three directions and a sensory system for temperature, humidity, gravity, and touch.


Plants as model in biomimetics and biorobotics: new perspectives.

Mazzolai B, Beccai L, Mattoli V - Front Bioeng Biotechnol (2014)

The PLANTOID robot. It integrates two roots that implement the elongation movement and the bending motion with a sensorized tip, respectively. In this prototype, the tip connected to the bending root integrates sensors for touch, humidity, temperature, and gravity. The branches integrate artificial leaves based on PEDOT:PSS material that move in response to changes in environmental humidity.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4126448&req=5

Figure 1: The PLANTOID robot. It integrates two roots that implement the elongation movement and the bending motion with a sensorized tip, respectively. In this prototype, the tip connected to the bending root integrates sensors for touch, humidity, temperature, and gravity. The branches integrate artificial leaves based on PEDOT:PSS material that move in response to changes in environmental humidity.
Mentions: From these initial achievements, the basic principles learned from the natural root behavior could be validated and, by adding flexibility, the system could be designed to change the direction and navigate around the obstacles. In Figure 1, a first prototype of the PLANTOID is shown. The system has a main trunk to which two roots are connected. One root embodies artificial growth like explained above and it elongates and penetrates the soil by an additive process of material (Sadeghi et al., submitted for publication). Another root integrates the bending capability in three directions and a sensory system for temperature, humidity, gravity, and touch.

Bottom Line: This results in movements that are characterized by energy efficiency and high density.Plant materials are optimized to reduce energy consumption during motion and these capabilities offer a plethora of solutions in the artificial world, exploiting approaches that are muscle-free and thus not necessarily animal-like.A few examples are described to lay the perspectives of plants in the artificial world.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Micro-BioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia , Pontedera , Italy.

ABSTRACT
Especially in robotics, rarely plants have been considered as a model of inspiration for designing and developing new technology. This is probably due to their radically different operational principles compared to animals and the difficulty to study their movements and features. Owing to the sessile nature of their lifestyle, plants have evolved the capability to respond to a wide range of signals and efficiently adapt to changing environmental conditions. Plants in fact are able to show considerable plasticity in their morphology and physiology in response to variability within their environment. This results in movements that are characterized by energy efficiency and high density. Plant materials are optimized to reduce energy consumption during motion and these capabilities offer a plethora of solutions in the artificial world, exploiting approaches that are muscle-free and thus not necessarily animal-like. Plant roots then are excellent natural diggers, and their characteristics such as adaptive growth, low energy consumption movements, and the capability of penetrating soil at any angle are interesting from an engineering perspective. A few examples are described to lay the perspectives of plants in the artificial world.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus