- Scientists say the hi-tech system will prove useful as crops face increasing threats from climate change
- With the use of this technology, farmers will be able to find out when a disease is in progress, even before full-blown symptoms appear on the crops
(Karachi) A team of scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has developed a high-tech system to communicate with plants and crops through electrodes capable of monitoring the weak electrical signals that are naturally emitted by the vegetation, local media reported on Tuesday.
As per details, researchers have designed a ‘plant communication device’ to trigger a ‘Venus flytrap’ to snap its jaws shut at the push of a button on a smartphone app and then attached one of its jaws to a robotic arm.
The aim of the system is to link plants to electrodes that can monitor the weak electrical pulses that are naturally emitted from the plants.
The scientists attached a conformable electrode (a piece of conductive material) on the surface of the plant using a soft and sticky adhesive known as ‘Hydrogel’. After fusing nature with technology, the remote-controlled Venus flytrap got the contraption to pick up a piece of wire half a millimeter thick, and catch a small falling object.
Researchers believe that the technology could be used to build advanced ‘plant-based robots’. It will prove useful as crops face increasing threats from climate change as the system can also pick up signals emitted by plants, raising the possibility that farmers will be able to detect abnormalities with their crops at an early stage, they said.
Moreover, farmers may find out when a disease is in progress, even before full-blown symptoms appear on the crops.
Commenting on the matter, Research Head at NTU Chen Xiaodong said: "These kinds of nature robots can be interfaced with other artificial robots (to make) hybrid systems."
He added, "By monitoring the plants' electrical signals, we may be able to detect possible distress signals and abnormalities".