Houseplants bring the beauty of the environment inside and are shown to improve human heath. However, plants often have trouble growing indoors due to irregular sunlight patterns. The Phototrobot aims to optimize a houseplant's ability to grow inside the home with environmentally friendly methods that try to preserve the natural world that's being brought inside.
The Phototrobot is an autonomous robot with a plant on top that follows the sun and is powered by solar panels. It was originally a line following, light tracking robot with a plant on top, but I decided to modify the functionality to include solar panels for the open innovation period. I've always been interested in the environment and fascinated with the technology being used to combat its issues. Last year in my environmental science class, I researched solar panels and wrote an intensive paper on how they work and why they could be a good investment. Since plants and solar panels both search for light, a light tracking robot seemed like the perfect way to combine their similarities. Aside from the benefits of houseplants, The Phototrobot explores how renewable energy can be brought into the home in a small, but meaningful way.