Singapore scientists develop smartphone-controlled “robo plants”

Scientists in Singapore are working on a technology through which plants can be controlled by smartphone apps, enabling farmers to potentially detect diseases in crop, AFP reported.

Remote-controlled Venus flytraps and plants that tell farmers when they are hit by disease could become reality after scientists developed a high-tech system for communicating with vegetation.

Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) linked up plants to electrodes capable of monitoring the weak electrical pulses naturally emitted by the greenery. The scientists used the technology to trigger a Venus flytrap to snap its jaws shut at the push of a button on a smartphone app.

They then attached one of its jaws to a robotic arm and got it to pick up a piece of wire half a millimeter thick and catch a small falling object.

The technology is in its early stages, but researchers believe it could eventually be used to build advanced “plant-based robots” that can pick up a host of fragile objects which are too delicate for rigid robotic arms.

Concept enables hybrid robot-plant systems

“These kinds of nature robots can be interfaced with other artificial robots to make hybrid systems,” Chen Xiaodong, the lead author of a study on the research at NTU, said.

The system can also pick up signals emitted by plants, raising the possibility that farmers will be able to detect problems with their crops at an early stage.

“By monitoring the plants’ electrical signals, we may be able to detect possible distress signals and abnormalities,” said Chen, adding that “farmers may find out when a disease is in progress, even before full-blown symptoms appear on the crops.”

Scientists have long known that plants emit very weak electrical signals but their uneven and waxy surfaces make it difficult to effectively mount sensors. The NTU researchers developed soft electrodes that fit tightly to the plant’s surface and can detect signals more accurately in order to create the “robo plants.”



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Scientists in Singapore are working on a technology through which plants can be controlled by smartphone apps, enabling farmers to potentially detect diseases in crop, AFP reported. Remote-controlled Venus flytraps and plants that tell farmers when they are hit by disease could become reality after scientists developed a high-tech system for communicating with vegetation. Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) linked up plants to electrodes capable of monitoring the weak electrical pulses naturally emitted by the greenery. The scientists used the technology to trigger a Venus flytrap to snap its jaws shut at the push of a button on...

Scientists in Singapore are working on a technology through which plants can be controlled by smartphone apps, enabling farmers to potentially detect diseases in crop, AFP reported.

Remote-controlled Venus flytraps and plants that tell farmers when they are hit by disease could become reality after scientists developed a high-tech system for communicating with vegetation.

Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) linked up plants to electrodes capable of monitoring the weak electrical pulses naturally emitted by the greenery. The scientists used the technology to trigger a Venus flytrap to snap its jaws shut at the push of a button on a smartphone app.

They then attached one of its jaws to a robotic arm and got it to pick up a piece of wire half a millimeter thick and catch a small falling object.

The technology is in its early stages, but researchers believe it could eventually be used to build advanced “plant-based robots” that can pick up a host of fragile objects which are too delicate for rigid robotic arms.

Concept enables hybrid robot-plant systems

“These kinds of nature robots can be interfaced with other artificial robots to make hybrid systems,” Chen Xiaodong, the lead author of a study on the research at NTU, said.

The system can also pick up signals emitted by plants, raising the possibility that farmers will be able to detect problems with their crops at an early stage.

“By monitoring the plants’ electrical signals, we may be able to detect possible distress signals and abnormalities,” said Chen, adding that “farmers may find out when a disease is in progress, even before full-blown symptoms appear on the crops.”

Scientists have long known that plants emit very weak electrical signals but their uneven and waxy surfaces make it difficult to effectively mount sensors. The NTU researchers developed soft electrodes that fit tightly to the plant’s surface and can detect signals more accurately in order to create the “robo plants.”



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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