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A Team of Scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have come up with a device which can send electric signals to & from plants. This huge development has the capability to change the world of food-security, Agri-Tech, Robotics and so much more.
Scientists in Singapore have linked up plants to electrodes which are capable of monitoring the weak electrical pulses which are emitted by the plants. Using the electrode, they can also use the electrical pulses emitted by the plants to monitor how it responds to the environment around it.
The NTU researchers created film-like, soft electrodes that fit tightly against the plant’s surface and can detect signals more precisely. The Venus flytrap was also attached to a robotic arm, and the researchers used a smartphone and a communication device to stimulate its leaf to close and pick up a half-millimeter piece of wire.
There’s no doubt that the technology is in it’s early days but the researchers and the scientists involved in the project have no doubt the potential of this is huge. According to them, this technology also has it’s potential in the robotics field with advanced “Plant-based Robots” which could pick fragile objects which maybe too delicate for the other rigid, robotic arms.
The lead team on the project envisions a future in which this technology has the capability where the farmers can use the plant communication device being developed to take preventative measures to protect their crops. The system can detect signals emitted by plants, increasing the likelihood that farmers will be able to detect crop problems early on.
It will be fascinating to see where this technological development goes into the future as without a doubt it can be said that this project has huge real-world impacting potential.
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