Tianqi Sun, CEO of robotics firm Vincross, has created a delightful mod of his robot Hexa which cares for a houseplant when the owner is too forgetful to water it.
Hexa is a small crab-like looking robot, which is available to buy for $949 and is designed to give people the chance to experiment with robotics.
Tianqi published his mod last year, but it gained public attention after an article by The Verge. The mod in question fits Hexa with a succulent, which it then cares for.
Tianqi says in his post that he was inspired by a dead sunflower. “The dead flower sat in a place that was always in a shadow. I had no idea how it ended up there or why it died – whether it was because of the lack of sunshine or water – but it was just there, and it was dead. I thought, if it could move a little bit, take a 30-feet walk out of the shadow to where the other sunflowers were, it would have lived healthily. But it didn’t.”
So he decided to make a robot which would enable plants to move around and cater to their needs.
The modded Hexa robot can move its plant cargo into light or shade, depending on its needs.
Once it has found a sunny spot, it rotates to give the plant maximum exposure.
Hexa also stomps its feet when it needs watering, and dances when its “happy” (although it’s not clear exactly what makes it happy.)
It can also play with humans, giving you the affection you always wished your potted plants could express.
Tianqi told Business Insider that this mod of Hexa was designed as an installation art piece, rather than any kind of functional tool.
However this reporter would like to point out that if we had Hexas big enough for trees, we’d be one step closer to having actual Ents. Food for thought.