What are Singapore’s “robo-plants” and are they the future of sustainable agriculture?
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Researchers in Singapore are engineering venus flytrap plants to help them learn more about diseased crops. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has created a setup for the “robo-plants” using the application of electrodes which are then controlled via mobile phone app. The flytraps naturally generate electricity which is conducted through hydrogel applied to the plants. It allows the scientists to be direct them through the weak signals they produce.
APPLYING TECH TO AGRICULTURE
NTU hopes the technology can be used in a more communications-focused way. The team wants to interpret signals emitted from various plants to detect things like distress from crop contamination.
“These signals will reflect the health status of the plants, so we hope to study the relationship of these signals and the environmental stresses and hopefully this will instruct agricultural practice,” explains Luo Yifei, a researcher at NTU.