Elowan by MIT Media Lab is a cybernetic lifeform, a plant in direct dialogue with a machine. The plant is interfaced through its own electrochemical signals with a robotic extension that drives it towards light.
source/image: MIT Media Lab
Plants have natural bioelectrochemical signals inside them. The get excited in response to environmental conditions and conduct these signals between tissues and organs.
Elowan is an attempt to demonstrate what augmentation of nature could mean. Elowan’s robotic base is a new symbiotic association with a plant. The agency of movement rests with the plant based on its own bio-electrochemical signals.
In this experimental setup, electrodes are inserted into stems and ground. The weak signals are then amplified and sent to the robot, making it move in respective directions.//More information at: media.mit.edu