A team of researchers from Singapore embedded a Venus flytrap plant into a robotic arm.
The scientists needed to lift a small object 1/50 of an inch. To accomplish this task, the Singaporean team turned to the Venus flytrap: they integrated part of the flytrap into a robotic arm.
The researchers then used a mobile phone to transmit an electrical impulse that caused the flycatcher to grab a tiny piece of wire.
These early experiments seem small, but the researchers believe they are paving the way for plant-based robots, sensors, memristors, ion chains, and plant-based medical devices.
In particular, the ability to interfere with the electrophysiology of plants using external electrical stimulation opens up new possibilities for the construction of plant communication protocols.
Wenlong Li, staff member, Nanyang Technological University
The team stated that their main goal is to create a physical interface that will allow contact with the plant without affecting its movement or physiology.
Since the internal excitation of a flycatcher is caused by electrophysiological signals, artificial interference with the electrophysiology of a plant with the help of external electricity can theoretically modulate its behavior when excited, the authors emphasize.