Reinventing the Cat: Mobile Succulent Planter Robot Seeks Out Sunlight

This robotic “smart” planter wanders around on six articulated legs to make sure your precious greens get enough natural light, prompting the observation: “This is called a cat. You’ve invented a cat.”

And there’s something to the comparison — cats self-regulate, so why not plants? Heliotropism draws plantlife naturally to the sun for nutrients, causing owners to shift around their habitats, but there’s no need with this bot. It can even stomp to demand water, like an impatient pet.

Developed by Vincross in China, the self-optimizing micro-robot can walk around and make sure any houseplant gets sufficient sun or shade. The HEXA was originally a simple walker, until its inventor put a pot into it.

So the whole thing may seem (and be) a bit silly, but it does add some interactivity to a home, particularly for people who aren’t around enough to take care of animals (or perhaps even an idle houseplant). Also, it’s a pretty good way for a robotics manufacturer to get people interested in their products.

“Robots are THE next big platform. We’ve all dreamed of a world where robots interact with and help humans in their daily lives. But the reality is, robots have a long way to go. Limited access — robots are either too expensive and complex isolated to a lab or too simplistic, a child’s toy — has kept innovators, explorers and the masses at bay.”

“Meet HEXA, the first of a new generation of accessible, programmable robots from Vincross. HEXA is a six-legged, highly maneuverable, compact robot that comes complete with all the necessary sensors. Along with HEXA, we deliver MIND, a robotics OS and SDK, where for the first time individuals don’t need to know underlying hardware and complex mechanics to learn and create interesting robotics functionality.”