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Artificial Life

Winter 2020, Vol. 26, No. 1, Pages 80-89
(doi: 10.1162/artl_a_00310)
© 2020 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Autonomously Moving Pine-Cone Robots: Using Pine Cones as Natural Hygromorphic Actuators and as Components of Mechanisms
Article PDF (592.83 KB)
We have developed autonomously moving pine-cone robots, which are made of multiple joined pine-cone scales for outdoor natural environments. We achieved these natural robots by using pine cones as both natural hygromorphic actuators and components of the mechanisms. When they are put in outdoor places where moist periods (e.g., rain) and dry periods repeatedly occur, they can move up and down on the spot or move forward. This article describes the motivation behind our research, the design and implementation of three different hygromorphic actuators, and applications for autonomously moving robots in nature.