Construction date: November 15, 2015 – February 20, 2016IMG_1476

Cost: ~75 USD dollars depending on battery type per robot

Time to build: 3 hours

Status: Completed

This is a custom robot I designed for a one-time workshop for high school art students through the New Art in the Neighborhood program found here:

During the workshop we divided 20 students into 4 groups.  Each group then built a walking plant robot.

This design was a huge step forward to something I consider far more advanced. Imagine if you will, a larger walking robot taking a plant on a journey across the land for about a year. The robot would keep it in the perfect amount of light. It would warm it when to cold, find the plant  water and clean air. The robot would then power down (die) in what should be the best place for the plant and completely biodegrade into the soil. This would leave the plant to grow in almost ideal conditions after being well taken care of by the robot. Unfortunately, robot components that are 100% biodegradable are a ways off. Although this robot is not 100% biodegradable, most of the chassis parts are printed with TWOBEARS Biofila Linen. This type of filament will biodegrade in about a year and is very safe for the environment.

Here is a Drop box link to the workshops build instruction and the program. The program is a bit rough but it will be a great starting point.

*Not shown is that a moisture sensor is attached to analog port 0 on the Light Blue Bean.

The robots are programmed to move towards light and to be an extension of the plant itself. They do this by moving towards sunlight and beeping when the moisture of the plant is low. This allows the robot to warn you when the plant needs water while keeping the plant in the sunlight longer than normal potted plant can. These robots are hexapod robots. For example, hexapod robots can step over various obstacles, like a book, that a wheeled robot cannot.

Also posted a page on Thingiverse


The light sensor should be facing angled towards the front of the robot with a clear line of sight to work correctly.

Parts list:

All printed parts
3x Hitec HS-422 Servos
1x Light blue Bean controller
18 M3 x 11 screws
1x CDS photoresistor
2x 220 ohm resistors
1x 1k ohm resistor
1x 22 uf capacitor
2x LED any color
1x Octopus Soil Moisture Sensor
1x misc wires
1x Great Planes Threaded 2-56 Ball Link Set (Set of 6)
1x small plant/soil
8x 10-24 x 3/4 inch or metric equivalent
3x 10-24 x 2 inch or metric equivalent
1x 3.3 volt drop out regulator or DC-DC drop in replacement, part number LD1117v33c
1x buzzer 3.3 volt or 5 volt
1x 4 AA battery holder
4x AA batteries (rechargeable if possible)
1x 1/4 scrap plastic, you will need to laser cut the base panels at133 mm wide and 230 mm long .The top base plate needs a cutout for the plant pot that measures 68 mm in diameter.

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