Here's a cute potted plant, which has robotic legs and reaches out for the sun.
Chinese roboticist and entrepreneur Sun Tianqi modelled a six-legged robot that carries a potted plant. The robot is called Hexa and was developed by Tianqi’s Beijing based company, Vincross.
It has 19 servos, infrared, and 720p cameras and a Linux-based operating system which is customisable.
According to Tianqi on the Vincorss forums, what is named “Sharing Human Technology with Plants," is an installation project of a walking succulent.
He was inspired by a dead sunflower at a flower exhibition. It was located in a place which did not get any sunlight. “I thought if it could move a little bit, take a 30-feet walk out of the shadow to where the other sunflowers were, it would have lived healthily. But it didn’t,” he said, and that's how he incorporated the idea into a moving robot.
Plants are passive and can’t move, even if they want to reach out to the sunlight. Placement of potted plants is completely under human control. Sometimes the plants are placed in areas where they may not get optimal sunlight.
With the help of Hexa, the plant (which is placed on it) can seek sunlight easily. Hexa moves towards the sunshine when needed, and it retreats to shade when it has had enough.
Tianqi says that Hexa will "play” with you if you tap its carapace, and surprisingly it can even make its needs known by performing a little stompy dance when it’s out of water. Cute, isn't it?
We cannot say from the post about how the robot works and manages to identify where the sun is, but we're guessing it probably moves to the brightest area and probably has light sensors inside,