Plant Bioinspired Ecological Robotics

Front Robot AI. 2020 Jul 14:7:79. doi: 10.3389/frobt.2020.00079. eCollection 2020.


Plants are movers, but the nature of their movement differs dramatically from that of creatures that move their whole body from point A to point B. Plants grow to where they are going. Bio-inspired robotics sometimes emulates plants' growth-based movement; but growing is part of a broader system of movement guidance and control. We argue that ecological psychology's conception of "information" and "control" can simultaneously make sense of what it means for a plant to navigate its environment and provide a control scheme for the design of ecological plant-inspired robotics. In this effort, we will outline several control laws and give special consideration to the class of control laws identified by tau theory, such as time to contact.

Keywords: bioinspired robotics; ecological psychology; endogenous control; plant signaling and behavior; tau theory.