Robot Dares You To Snatch The Pebble From This Flower

This pleasant-looking plant may try to take your hand off if you’re not careful. The robot flower (translated) includes sensors that cause the petals to move in reaction to external stimuli.

You can just make out the distance sensors as black rectangles on two of the petals. These let the flower track an object by rotating the flower stem. But if they determine the object is getting a bit too close for comfort, the servo motor on the back of each petal will cause the flower to suddenly clamp shut.

The video after the break starts off with an in-depth look at the hardware that went into the project. An Arduino clone called the GRoboduino makes this project a lot easier since it has a bunch of extras on the board aimed at things like sensors and servo motors. The mounting technique for the petal-powering-servos is quite attractive, and we enjoy the Snapple lid (probably not the actual brand but you get the picture) which has been coated with yellow felt for the center of the bloom. The final look is normal enough to fit in with home decor, but it still has enough geek in it to melt our hacker hearts.

[via Make]

27 thoughts on “Robot Dares You To Snatch The Pebble From This Flower

    1. Heh, that sounds fun. I’d have to replace the pebble with a piece of candy, and paint a dab of fake blood on the petal tips; just to make it more attractive/repulsive.

    1. Those sun flowers could act as a parabolic mirror and directing sunlight to a perceived enemy. Only as a group they could do serious harm (if I recall correctly).

      Made by one of the (extinct) slave races to fight against their masters.

      This flower acts more like a Venus fly trap.

    1. Similar to what entered my mind. Using cables connected to a solenoid in the base might make for faster action. I’d also create a random time delay to catch people off guard

  1. I think it would be more efficient to have the petals mounted on the servo horns, not the servo bodies, to minimize strain on the servos. Otherwise, cool project!

  2. How about using a single cheap solenoid, rather than 6 relatively expensive servos?

    In fact, with a solenoid you wouldn’t even need the arduino, just a simple analog circuit.

  3. As others have noted… seems rather silly to have used a separate servo to articulate each petal when the motion is a discrete opened/closed. Now, it each individual petal responded separately…

    Also, if you noticed the reaction time in the video, you would see that noone would have any problem grabbing the pebble before the thing snapped shut. The guy literally had to hold his hand there for a second before the thing responded.

    Nice craftmanship, though.

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