Plants, on the whole, do not move fast. While Venus flytraps and Mimosa pudicas have rapidly moving leaves, plants themselves tend to stay stationary. But what if they had robotic legs to help them out? A robotics company has modded its latest bot to make that dream a reality.
Hexa, developed by the Beijing-based Vincross, is a six-legged bot with 19 servos, infrared and 720p cameras, a customizable Linux-based OS, and big ambitions—the company’s home page imagines a Hexa on Mars. The new robot mod, developed by Vincross roboticist Sun Tianqi, is “an installation project of a walking succulent plant,” Tianqi said last year in the Hexa forums.
“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 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,” Tianqi recalls.
That dream of moving a flower got incorporated into the robot he was building at the time, the Hexa.