Robotic planter chases the sun to nourish its plant in sunlight
Do you have a hard time maintaining your plants? Not to worry. A Beijing-based startup has developed a robotic planter that’ll make it so you’ll never accidentally kill a plant again.
Called Hexa, this robotic planter is just big enough to hold a medium-sized succulent. It’s equipped with spider-like legs that can walk into the sunlight when its plant passenger needs some vitamin D. The concept is based on the phenomenon known as heliotropism, where leaves point in the direction of the light—the source of their nutrients.
Most of the time, you have to position your plants just right so that they get the food they need. But thanks to this adorable little robotic planter by Vincross, you’ll never worry about your plants getting too little or too much sun again.
Hexa is the brainchild of roboticist and entrepreneur Sun Tianqi. He explains how the idea for the project came to be:
“In 2014, I went to see a sunflower exhibition, and found myself focused on a dead sunflower near a ground of blooms. The dead flower sat in a place that was always in a shadow. I had no idea how it ended up there or why it died… I thought, if it could move a little bit, take a 30-feet walk out of the shadow to where the other sunflowers were, it would have lived healthily.”
Hexa, the robotic smart planter
The six-legged robotic planter is equipped with several motors, infrared and 720p cameras, as well as a Linux operating system. Hexa can walk toward the light when the plant is in need of some sun. It can also rotate or spin to get the right amount of sunlight and retreat into the shade to ensure that a plant doesn’t get too much light.
It’ll “play” with a human if you tap its carapace, and it can even make its needs known by performing a little stomping dance when it’s out of water.
Sun has been tight-lipped about the specifics of how Hexa navigates and keeps track of the plant’s well-being. Regardless, it’s undeniably an incredible and adorable way to take care of a plant. Vincross, which modified Hexa from an earlier design to be able to hold a plant, sells the robot for the eye-watering price of $949; a wireless version goes for $999. For more information, head to Vincross’ website.