A group of European scientists, robotics, working as part of the project Plantoid, created the first The world robo tree.
Set “seedlings” of such robots trees loaded into the bay automatic spacecraft can be “planted” on the surface of another planet, creating a research network that collects a variety of scientific data.
The basis of the robot is the plastic case to “trunk” made a three-dimensional printer. Inside the case is microprocessor, associated electronics, power supplies. Of the “trunk” of the robot grows four “branches” with “leaves” that are sensitive sensors of various types.
The sensors are able to detect the presence and to measure parameters such as temperature, humidity, power of attraction, the touch and the presence of various chemicals.
Resemblance to the real tree robot Plantoid give his two robotic “root”.
One of the “roots” is a flexible mobile tentacle at the end of which are sensors for multiple sensors. This tentacle can pass through a layer of soil, changing direction when faced with insurmountable obstacles. By sensors tentacle can determine the composition of the soil.
The second “root” Plantoid robot is a kind of drilling rig, through which the robot has the ability to go deep into the soil, and to gain a foothold on the surface. This “root” has a rotating drill bit that goes deep into the ground, stretching over a corrugated resin pipe and acts as an anchor.
The current shape of the robot is simply a demonstration of the possibility of creating robots trees. However, the actual realization of the idea and technology Plantoid can be used for continuous monitoring of the state of the soil, the presence of environmental pollution and other environmental factors on the Earth or on other planets.
The project was launched in 2012, and its completion is expected in April next year. By that time, scientists have yet to solve some problems associated with getting the robot energy from the environment with the addition of extra features roots and branches.