Robotic Plants Serve an Altruistic Purpose (Video)

robotic clover photo

Photo via Designboom

Japanese artist Akira Nakayasu's specialty is robotic plants. He creates things like sunflowers that react to human movement, making the flower seem to communicate with the people around it. His latest work is called "Plant," an interactive piece that was inspired by grass blowing in the wind. With 169 artificial leaves that react independently to the presence of a human's body, such as a hand waving over it, the unarguably interesting and relatively cool piece begs the question, "What's the point?"Turns out it has a very green-minded point.

"Plant" is to be showcased at Ars Electronica 2010 under the section "Design for Repair." This section's theme revolves around designing the best objects, rather than dreaming up things that can be mass produced. As Designboom points out, "Here artists show how to breathe new life into old objects while inventors tread new paths to make our ecological footprint as small as possible."

The Ars Electronica festival's website states: "The time of warning is over, because we are already busy indoors: In the climate crisis, the surveillance society, the bankruptcy of the financial industry ... point of no return is crossed, and the drama of the impact is clear. Therefore, our inexplicable lethargy, especially ideas, tools and techniques for change of course are available. We just have to act. Roll up your sleeves and tackle what anyway no way passes. We must change ourselves and begin the repair."

Now that, is worthy of some attention. Perhaps the purpose of "Plant" is to remind people that we do influence our world right down to each and every leaf, even if those leaves don't always bend and shift as our hands approach.

robotic sunflower image

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