The Elowan project can be called an attempt to create cyborg plants. The concept is to learn how to improve plant life by connecting it to external “smart systems”. Those, on the basis of signals directly from the plant, will be able to change its environment in the desired direction. Sounds fantastic, but the program already has working prototypes.
The development of the gardening robot was taken up by the MIT Media Lab, where they built the world's first "smart and mobile" flower pot. Elowan sensors are implanted into the flesh of a plant and measure the electrochemical reactions taking place in it. The data is analyzed in order to understand whether the plant has enough light at a given moment and which part of it needs it more. After that, the wheeled platform simply unfolds the pot and brings it to the right side closer to the ultraviolet lamp.
The Elowan system does not measure the brightness of light, does not pay attention to the air temperature - it makes a decision only on the basis of data from the living plant itself. A kind of personal implant for finding the best living conditions. And about what “the best” means, Elowan understands through a kind of “language” of plants, deciphering signals about the processes taking place in them and the reaction of a living entity to changes.
The robot can be adjusted to other parameters, for example, to maintain the optimal size of the length of the leaves, control the rate of absorption of liquids by the plant, and develop the ability to resist toxins in it. And thus, to grow plants with the specified parameters, without resorting to the use of nitrates and GMOs.