Towards a Plant Bio-Machine

Stefano Nichele, Sebastian Risi, Gunnar Tufte, Laura Beloff

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Plants are very efficient computing machines. They are able to sense diverse environmental conditions and quickly react through chemical and electrical signaling. In this paper, we present an interface between plants and machines (a cybernetic plant), with the goal of augmenting the capabilities of plants towards the creation of plant biosensors. We implement a data acquisition system able to stimulate the plant through different electrical signals, as well as record the electrical activity of plants in response to changing electrical stimulations, light conditions, and chemicals. The results serve as a proof of concept that sensing capabilities of plants are a viable option for the development of plant bio-machines. Different future scenarios (some speculative) are discussed. The work herein is carried out as a collaboration between the EU project Flora Robotica and the EU project NASCENCE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Alife conference (SSCI) proceedings
Number of pages8
Publication date8 Feb 2018
Article number 17544442
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-2727-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-2726-6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2018


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