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Living machinesA handbook of research in biomimetics and biohybrid systems$
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Tony J. Prescott, Nathan Lepora, and Paul F.M.J Verschure

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199674923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 August 2019

Growth and tropism

Growth and tropism

(p.99) Chapter 9 Growth and tropism
Living machines

Barbara Mazzolai

Oxford University Press

Plants or plant parts, such as roots or leaves, have the capacity of moving by growing in response to external stimuli with high plasticity and morphological adaptation to the environment. This chapter analyses some plant features and how they have been translated in artificial devices and control. A new generation of ICT hardware and software technologies inspired from plants is described, which includes an artificial root-like prototype that moves in soil imitating the sloughing mechanism of cells at the root apex level; as well as innovative osmotic-based actuators that generate movement imitating turgor variation in the plant cells. As future directions, new technologies expected from the study of plants concern energy-efficient actuation systems, chemical and physical microsensors, sensor fusion techniques, kinematics models, and distributed, adaptive control in networked structures with local information and communication capabilities.

Keywords:   growing robot, plant-inspired robot, tropisms, plant-inspired actuation, plant roots, distributed control

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