Embodied Behavior of Plant Roots in Obstacle Avoidance

  • Liyana Popova
  • Alice Tonazzini
  • Andrea Russino
  • Alì Sadeghi
  • Barbara Mazzolai
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8064)

Abstract

Plant roots are a new paradigm for soft robotics. Study of embodied behavior in roots may lead to the implementation of movements guided by structural deformations and to the use of sensors and actuators as body parts. In this work the obstacle avoidance in roots and its interplay with the gravitropism were studied both from biological and robotic viewpoint. Living roots resulted to achieve the maximum pushing force on an obstacle before starting circumnavigation (30 mN in 100 min), thus indicating the existence of a triggering threshold. Tip-to-obstacle angle (20°) was not influenced by the gravity. A robotic mockup capable to bend like living roots was build on the basis of current knowledge and our results on obstacle avoidance behavior. Exploitation of morphological features and passive body deformation resulted to be useful for implementing a simplified control of the robot during gravitropism and obstacle avoidance.

Keywords

robotic root plant root embodied behavior 

References

  1. 1.
    Mazzolai, B., Mondini, A., Corradi, P., Laschi, C., Mattoli, V., Sinibaldi, E., Dario, P.: A Miniaturized Mechatronic System Inspired by Plant Roots. IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics 16(2), 201–212 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Gilroy, S., Masson, P.H.: Plant tropisms. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford (2008)Google Scholar
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    Russino, A., Ascrizzi, A., Popova, L., Tonazzini, A., Mancuso, S., Mazzolai, B.: A Novel Tracking Tool for Analysis of Plant Root Tip Movements. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics (accepted)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liyana Popova
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alice Tonazzini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea Russino
    • 2
  • Alì Sadeghi
    • 1
  • Barbara Mazzolai
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Micro-BioRobotics@SSSAIstituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)PontederaItaly
  2. 2.The BioRobotics InstituteScuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPontederaItaly

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