Specialists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed the Elowan robot, which is in a kind of symbiosis with the plant. A living organism uses electrical signals to control the movement of the robot.
So far, the system only responds to some changes, such as lighting a plant or a lack of water. Silver electrods are used to transmit signals, which are implanted in the leaves, roots and stem of the plant. The direction of movement of the robot depends on the strength of the impulse. For example, in one of the experiments, the robot on which the pot with the plant stood, itself drove up to the light source necessary for photosynthesis.
The algorithm looks like this: the plant needs light, this causes certain biochemical changes that generate an electrical impulse. The robot captures it, decrypts and executes the desired command.
In the future, such systems may be useful for automatic farms, where robots themselves will take care of plants, responding to their needs for light, water or nutrients. Such technologies will be used in agriculture on Earth, as well as in distant space expeditions, where it will be necessary to grow plants on board a ship.