David Bowen’S installation ‘plant machete’
David Bowen’s installation, ‘Plant Machete,’ enables a living plant to move a machete through an industrial robot‘s bionic-like arm. The installation implements a control system that measures electrical noises found in the living philodendron. This system uses an open source micro-controller connected to the plant, which reads varying resistance signals across the its leaves.
The machine’s movements are accomplished by using a custom technology that translates electrical signals from the plant into real-time motion. Embedded patch sensors pick up electric signals from the leaves and transmit them to the machine that contains several joints that determine how the machete swings, jabs, slices, and interacts in space.
the industrial robot is mounted to a wall carrying the wired plant
all images courtesy of David Bowen
the plant acts as the brain of the robot
Essentially, David Bowen wanted the plant to act as the brain of the robot. The designer, mounted the industrial robot to a wall carrying the wired plant to give the machete space to be moved around. The movements produced by the machete are determined by the inputs from the plant. These signals are then mapped in real-time to the movements of joints on the industrial robot holding the machete.
bionic-like arm measures electrical noises found in a living philodendron
the installation’s control system measures electrical noises found in the living philodendron