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Robotics Toys Technology

Flower Robots For Your Home 119

Posted by timothy
from the pretty-high-on-maslow's-hierarchy dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Flower robots are not new, and some have already been developed in the US. Now, South Korean researchers have created a robotic plant which acts like real ones. This robot has humidifying, oxygen-producing, aroma-emitting, and kinetic functions. It is about 1.30 meters tall and 40 centimeters in diameter. The robotic plant can interact with people when they approach, and it can 'dance' when music is played. The researchers don't say when a commercial version of their flowers will come to the market. They also don't mention a retail price."
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Flower Robots For Your Home

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  • First post? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by iamapizza (1312801)
    >The researchers don't say when a commercial version of their flowers will come to the market. They also don't mention a retail price

    So it's not really for 'your home' then, is it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by iamapizza (1312801)
      >and it can 'dance' when music is played

      And it further looks like the First Law of Robotics don't apply here!
    • The researchers don't say when a commercial version of their flowers will come to the market. They also don't mention a retail price.

      They're available now, from £11.99 upwards.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=dancing+flower&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=689581509&ref=pd_sl_2h5hlp7cun_b [amazon.co.uk]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        You know what I hate? Those santa figures that start going "hohoho" if you go within about 30 feet of them. You know, it's a lucky thing halloween is when it is, or they'd have all the xmas tat in the stores already.

        Feel free to mod me -1 bah humbug.

        • Re:First post? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by g-san (93038) on Friday October 17, 2008 @06:18AM (#25410113)

          Don't you get it yet? The shopping season is all about taxes. You file your income taxes by april so the govt can count/collect it all by summer, then in winter they make up a holiday that convinces everyone to spend spend spend so they can collect tax revenues. It might be reversed for you Aussies, when do you pay taxes?

          And did you notice that every store has a frickin holiday section now, it just goes xmas to valentines to easter to mothers day to dads and grads to cheap chinese summer toys to Halloween to thanksgiving and repeat.

          And your last comment is the icing on the cake, the star on the xmas tree, the big box under the tree. You are actually feeling guilty for talking that way! You assume that everyone will negatively paint you a "Scrooge" if you don't participate in the scam. That's why it's such a great scam. And that is why even though people can't afford it and they really don't need it, they BUY it anyways, and the cycle continues.

          I hate it, but I appreciate it for its elegance.

          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            In Australia, I think Christmas is in June isn't it? So they pay taxes in October.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Whiteox (919863)

              Yeah, we have 2. 'Xmas in July' which is totally reserved for yuppies which you can catch in the wild in trendy places and then we have the one on the 25th of December when it's sweltering hot and most eat salads and prawns (erm shrimps - no one eats turkey by the way), while we watch the bushfires tearing through the countryside.
              Take your pick. And we do our taxes in July and get refunds about 2 weeks later.

        • You know what I hate? Those santa figures that start going "hohoho" if you go within about 30 feet of them. You know, it's a lucky thing halloween is when it is, or they'd have all the xmas tat in the stores already.

          Feel free to mod me -1 bah humbug.

          In Capitalist Korea, Santa Killbots downmod you -1, hohohoho.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gstoddart (321705)

          You know what I hate? Those santa figures that start going "hohoho" if you go within about 30 feet of them. You know, it's a lucky thing halloween is when it is, or they'd have all the xmas tat in the stores already.

          I don't know about where you live, but in my area, the xmas crap is alongside the halloween crap.

          Seriously, in the first week of October I was seeing retailers with both stuff on display. I remember when the Christmas stuff dutifully waited until after halloween -- I don't think that's the case

        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          I want to get one to use for Halloween.

          The same dialogue, when slowed down (slowed down = deeper voice) can be very creepy.

          "Ho ho ho! Santa Claus is coming to town!"

          Now put a red LED in one of his eyes (terminator style), slow down the voice, cover him in theater blood, and have him holding the diembodied head of a cabbage patch kid.

          "Ho... ho... ho... Santa... Claus... is... coming... to... town!"

  • by Monkey-some (1178115) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:06AM (#25409337)

    I suspect that it's a new way to sell us the kind of humidifier/sensitizers that you just plug.

    On another hand that robotic flower who interacts and dance with people would just fit perfectly fine with my cluster of singing basses who are pinned on the wall "taake me to the river"...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ILuvRamen (1026668)
      That might be true under other circumstances but you forget what time of year it is. With people hating voting robo-calls so much, they've developed these plants instead. They sneak into your home under the guide of being cute and fun and sort of gimmicky but when you're sitting there reading slashdot, you hear a really quiet "vote for _____" and then you look around and think "who the hell just said that?" and IT WAS THE PLANT!
    • Thank you.. This song will haunt me for few days.. Kind of forgot the first impression when I've seen the single bass first time.. And now I'm picturing an array of them.. Rock'n'roll!

    • The flowers should also have songs.

      Every rose has its thoorrrrrrrn!
      Just like every night has its dawwwwwwn
      Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad sonnnng
      Every rose has its thorrrrrn!

      That would be mildly disturbing. "Evil Grows" by the Poppy Family would also be pretty twisted:

      Evil grows in the dark where the sun it never shines
      Evil grows in cracks and holes and lives in people's minds
      Evil grew, it's part of you, and now it seems to be
      That every time I look at you, evil grows in me


      I'd be
  • Real plants don't do those things. You should describe it the other way around. (plant like qualities as an extra only)

    I had another idea, we could conceal these things in some sort of an upright tube. When it detects someone nearby it would pop out and open it's big petals... Hmmm..
  • by muzip (1220080)
    I, for one, welcome our new humidifying, oxygen-producing, aroma-emitting, and kinetic functioning flower robot overlords!
  • They want their dancing flowers and coke cans back.
  • Feed Me! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:11AM (#25409347)

    " The robotic plant can interact with people when they approach, and it can 'dance' when music is played. "

    Little shop of Horrors [imdb.com]

  • by Centurix (249778) <centurix@NospAM.gmail.com> on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:15AM (#25409359) Homepage

    But they forget to mention that they can walk by themselves and can spit poison that can blind a person.

  • You can get an electronic fish that turns its head outwards and wiggles on its trophy plaque while singing kitschy cover songs.

  • by ah81 (885126) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:24AM (#25409381)
    Seriously, is there anything they don't want to turn into a robot?
    • by SinaSa (709393)

      Seriously, is there anything they don't want to turn into a robot?

      "American universities and Japanese manufacturers have produced toy-like robot plants, but ours has various new kinetic and electronic functions," project leader Park Jong-oh said. "It's a fresh attempt to introduce the concept of plants, rather than humans or animals, to robot making." Seems admirable enough to me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tomzyk (158497)

      I'm crossing my fingers and hoping they will never turn a planet [wikipedia.org] into a robot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Speare (84249)

      I can't begin to guess about all "Asians" but I can see a few reasons why the Japanese in particular have taken to this trend.

      For centuries, the Japanese mind has enjoyed consistency and fine craftsmanship. Kids have to write complicated kanji characters thousands of times to develop a consistency to it. Antique dolls made of wood with tiny clockwork cams have been built that can 'walk' into a room and serve you tea, or dip a brush into ink and do fine calligraphy. Attention to detail and exacting standa

  • by Tjeerd (976354)
    Reminds me of the new Philips Ligt Blossom [philips.com] flower (pictures [pocket-lint.co.uk]) running on sun- and windenergy. What is it that happy flowers - or actually, nature - are inspiring those designers? I think the future might be the a mixture of technology and natural looking devices.
  • unAutotrophs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by imatiach (1387767) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:37AM (#25409427)
    Great, so now instead of planting flowers and trees that will form Glucose, give us Oxygen, supply all higher lifeforms and save the world every household will have a mechanical machine that will use up precious energy and resources. Sign me up!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by utnapistim (931738)

      But, but, but ... they DANCE!

      I wonder if they will be available in pink ...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by imatiach (1387767)
        but trees and plants can already dance! Just turn on the fan or open the window. And you can always paint your plant/tree whatever color you want (think: Christmas trees) In fact, now that I think about it, I want to get a real plant. Maybe this robot will inspire people to go the extra step and get a real one...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slashmojo (818930)

      On the other hand, maybe these are (or could be) solar powered - handy for areas where water is in short supply.

      Shame the article doesn't actually say more about how these things work.. do they require a water supply? Where does the moisture and oxygen they supposedly produce come from?

      Even if they do require water, are they more or less water efficient than real plants? For example - when you water a real plant you can expect some of that water to simply evaporate before the plant gets to use any of it.. i

    • Reading fails you.

      Just like real plants, the robot emits oxygen, moisture, and aroma.

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      What's stopping you from doing both?

      And there's more than a bit of hypocrisy in typing "every household will have a mechanical machine that will use up precious energy and resources", WHILE USING A COMPUTER.

      If you're that worried about mechanical machines using up precious energy and resources, the last thing you should be using is a computer.

    • Great, so now instead of planting flowers and trees that will form Glucose, give us Oxygen, supply all higher lifeforms and save the world every household will have a mechanical machine that will use up precious energy and resources. Sign me up!

      They'll keep working at it until they've added all those features, and then it will be ... a plant.

  • Its obvious! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlackSabbath (118110) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:44AM (#25409459) Homepage

    Why have a living, breathing flower in a pot when you can have a pretend one that wastes so much more energy? Who wouldn't want that?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430)

      People who are allergic to real flowers, for one. Or people who think it's neat and fun, looks nice in their home, or just want to own one?

      Really, the 'why have a real 'whatever' when you can you a pretend 'blablabla' argument, seemingly always in a 'I'm holier than thou' sort of way, is just tired and overused by now.

      Some other examples I've seen before:

      "Why have a real conversation, when you can just type messages on the internet? Is that so hard?"
      "Why go outside and play with your friends, when you can h

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        He has a valid point though - this to me just seems to be technology for its own sake rather than some actual practical use - even as entertainment its a gag that'll wear very thin after about 30 secs.

      • I am not actually making that argument.

        In the examples you give, the alternatives are actually different things that have overlapping uses. Therefore one cannot always be a substitute for the other. This device however has NO purpose other than to "emualate" a flower as accurately as possible, including "oxygen generation" and "aroma emission" (great for those allergic to pollen, not so good to those allergic to air-borne chemicals).

      • by MrMunkey (1039894)
        Don't forget those of us who kill every plant they try to bring into their house. Even house plants die at my house. I think I might be the plant Grim Reaper, but it's probably that I just don't know anything about plants (too much, or too little and/or sunlight).
      • by genner (694963)

        sages on the internet? Is that so hard?" "Why go outside and play with your friends, when you can have pretend internet friends? Who wouldn't want that?"

        but but my wow guild really cares about me......*sniff*

    • Why have a living, breathing flower in a pot when you can have a pretend one that wastes so much more energy? Who wouldn't want that?

      Because some of us have dogs and/or cats that love to eat a real plant. Because bugs like to lay eggs in the potting soil, and then you have bugs and a dead plant. Because flowers wilt after a few days/weeks, and then you have to wait for new blooms. Because you need to remember to water them, but not too much, because then have mold/fungus and a dead plant. Because some of us just don't have green thumbs and want something pretty in our houses without continuing the endless cycle of slaughtering poor inno

    • You forgot how "realistic" they are! If they ACTUALLY LOOKED like REAL flowers, I might have some respect for this enterprise. As it is, they look as realistic as the people do in Japanese cartoons.
    • Why buy it when you can build it? [cmu.edu] Oh yeah, the brain of the unit is a Qwerk [charmedlabs.com] which means you can really hack it to respond to all sorts of things.
  • by millwall (622730) * on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:44AM (#25409461)
    With such thick stems it looks like robot is more inspired by anime tentacle rape than actual organic flowers!
  • why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nicklott (533496) on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:00AM (#25409527)
    Looks like a solution in need of a problem to me. Real plants fulfil their functions just fine. And they look better.
  • by cosmocain (1060326) on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:03AM (#25409535)
    ...can't resist... must obey... help!

    please *sweat...

    ...must do it..

    i, for one, welcome our new robotic overlords

    ah, that was tough...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
      I know how you feel. The conflation of South Korea, robots and flowers makes this a meme goldmine.

      In South Korea, only old people welcome their new robotic overlords.
      Where have all the robots gone? Girls have picked them every one. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
      What's in a name? That which we call a robot by any other name would smell as sweet.
      Take time to smell the robots.
      A robot is a robot is a robot.
      She loves me. BZZZZT! She loves me not. HMMMMZZZ! She loves me. ZZZZ! <p
  • South Korean researchers have created a robotic plant which acts like real ones.

    The robotic plant can interact with people when they approach, and it can 'dance' when music is played.

    I guess it's now actually safe to say that Asia is just simply not like the rest of the world, apparently even down to plant-life.

  • What do they run on? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:13AM (#25409589) Homepage

    Do they also run on water and carbon dioxide?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ciderVisor (1318765)
      Brawndo has electrolytes. It has what plants crave.
    • by dw604 (900995)

      if it can dance, i'm guessing it's plugged in. (IDNRTFA)

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      What, like out of the toilet?
    • by g-san (93038)

      Sunlight, silly. In one way or another, it's all sunlight.

      • by thepotoo (829391)
        If you really want to be anal about it, the sunlight (photon, actually, plants don't absorb all sunlight) just inputs enough energy to move an electron to a higher energy state. This electron is taken from water, and gets stored in glucose, the carbon in that glucose itself being taken from CO2.

        So it's not all sunlight.

    • by scorp1us (235526)

      Well, I liked the idea, until I saw it was just an energy sink.

      You see, the photovoltaic cells we have today run at 10-14% efficiency. Compare that to natural photosynthesis at 2%, ergo, outside fo manufacturing we should be able to do 5x what the plant can do. Imagine a "plant" with a dehumidifier that separates the collected water into HHO2 gas (via electrolysis) you can store the Hydrogen for a lamp at night, and just release oxygen in the room. And you can still do whatever with extra electricity - LED

  • Next Step! (Score:4, Funny)

    by imatiach (1387767) on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:33AM (#25409667)
    Pet robot rock! It can... uh...
  • FTA, âoeIt's a fresh attempt to introduce the concept of plants, rather than humans or animals, to robot making."

    That concept sounds as interesting as watching grass grow. Maybe they are trying to put a new twist on robot wars with a match between the synthetic grass cluster and the Robo Mower.
  • In the other news, robot fishes [howstuffworks.com] are reported to sing loud protests against roboplants that are invading their territory.
  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@drunksnipe r s .com> on Friday October 17, 2008 @04:54AM (#25409755) Homepage

    It behaves just like a real rock. It's really low on maintenance, is has solar cells to recharge itself, but it can last for months on a single charge. It is perfect for a hi-tech Japanese rock garden.

    ps, I already filed the patent.

    • Yes! I tip my hat to you, sir. No further jokes are needed.
    • by genner (694963)

      It behaves just like a real rock. It's really low on maintenance, is has solar cells to recharge itself, but it can last for months on a single charge. It is perfect for a hi-tech Japanese rock garden.

      ps, I already filed the patent.

      But can your rock dance?

  • "The robot was developed using characteristics of plants normally grown for ornamental purposes."

    And

    "If a person's voice becomes louder than a certain level, the flower buds will come into bloom, and the stem shakes slightly to suggest a greeting. When the room lights up, the buds open and close, and when music is played, the plant dances."

    What kind of plants do they keep around there! Do they also eat meat and sing like Levi Stubbs [imdb.com]?

    Remember kids, never feed a plant that moves on its own and likes the

  • by NoNeeeed (157503) <slash@nospam.paulleader.co.uk> on Friday October 17, 2008 @05:23AM (#25409869) Homepage

    Seriously, someone has actually created a game of catch on the Wii [wiifitforum.org].

    He said it was because...

    but it's different for kids nowadays, because playgrounds and such places doesn't allow ball throwing any more.

    Simulated catch, robot dogs, and now robot plants.

    At the risk of sounding all "get of my lawn", this kind of thing is pretty depressing.

  • Yes, yes... (Score:3, Funny)

    by denzacar (181829) on Friday October 17, 2008 @06:19AM (#25410119) Journal

    It has humidifying, oxygen-producing, aroma-emitting, and kinetic functions.

    But can it feel love and love you in return?

  • Wait, what is wrong with buying a ficus plant or a cactus again? Oh right, ficus can't be modded to run Linux.

    Yet.
  • Danger, Geoff Hamilton!
  • "Why does your house smell like Cow Shit?"

    "Damnit, I need to reboot my robotic flowers again."

  • These things were obviously designed as topical enemies for Plant Man's stage. Was, by chance, funding for them provided by a certain "Mr. X"?
  • I want a robotic plant that's bright red, 600 feet high and smells terrible.

    If it can dance, that's a bonus.
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vegiVamp (518171) on Friday October 17, 2008 @09:55AM (#25411733) Homepage

    Do the robotic flowers absorb more CO2 and emit more oxygen than what is required to produce, power, and when they break down, recycle them ?

    Didn't think so. I'll take real flowers, kthxbye.

  • Supersonic? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jcdick1 (254644) on Friday October 17, 2008 @09:55AM (#25411737)

    From the article:

    When a person comes within a 40 cm radius of the flower, its supersonic sensor perceives the approach, the stem bends towards the person, and the buds come into full bloom.

    It can go supersonic within 40 cm? How about the buds come into full bloom and impale themselves in the approaching person?

  • And when are they going to invent a robot to take care of my real plants?
  • Anyone else remember the Dr. Who episodes about The Autons [wikipedia.org]? Creepy creatures that were plastic and were trying to take over the Earth by running plastic injection molding companies that were actually cranking out millions of Autons and selling them as clothing store dummies, telephone cords, baby dolls, and most critically, decorative plastic flowers?
    Those episodes got the producers in trouble with the British Government, as I recall, because they scared kids so badly that parents were out in the streets

  • It's a robot(ic) flower, not a flower robot.

  • They're the ones that look like potted plants - but when you get close enough the flower launches off the pot and homes in on you with its rockets... And meanwhile the pot sprouts another plant. You can shoot down all the flowers you want, but to stop 'em you've got to kill the pot...

    It was on the Hornet Man stage, I think...

  • Do they have pollens to make me sneeze? :P

  • 'It acts like a real plant'. 'It dances when you play music to it'. Makes you wonder if these guys have ever *seen* a real plant ?!

  • It takes your picture and prints it out.
  • Am I the only one who immediately thought this could lead to another remake of Little Shop of Horrors [imdb.com]?

    Recharge me, Seymour!

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