This weed whacks you.
An has inventor boggled minds online after apparently outfitting a plant with software that enables it to swing a machete like some sort of chlorophyll-consuming cyborg.
A video detailing the so-called “bushwhacker” currently boasts over 10.9 million views on Twitter as gawkers wonder about the usefulness of a weapon-wielding weed.
According to inventor David Bowen, the “plant machete” was created by outfitting a live philodendron — a genus of flowering plant — with software that processes its electrical signals and translates them into movement.
“The system uses an open source micro-controller connected to the plant to read varying resistance signals across the plant’s leaves,” Bowen writes on his site regarding the “Poison Ivy”-evoking invention. “Using custom software, these signals are mapped in real-time to the movements of the joints of the industrial robot holding a machete.”
This tree chops you down.
The artist added, “In this way, the movements of the machete are determined based on input from the plant.”
Bowen said the micocontroller is essentially the brain of the robot “controlling the machete determining how it swings, jabs, slices and interacts in space.” Think the way Alex Murphy’s human-bot brain allows him to control his synthetic body in “Robocop.”
Accompanying footage shows the slice-n-dicing shrubbery twirling the machete with the deftness and fluidity of a samurai.
This literal grasscutter uses “an open source micro-controller connected to the plant to read varying resistance signals across the plant’s leaves,” per the site.
It’s yet unclear what the plant machete’s purpose would be, other than perhaps being used by eco-terrorists to give illegal loggers ironic comeuppance.
Bowen hasn’t yet replied to the Post’s request for comment.
However, the dystopian bush-bot certainly made an impression on Twitter with one social media personality, Rex Chapman, writing: “Why???”
“While you studied photosynthesis I studied the blade,” quipped one Twitter wit, while another joked: “watched out vegans.”
“Using custom software, these signals are mapped in real-time to the movements of the joints of the industrial robot holding a machete,” inventor David Bowen describes.
“I can’t wait to get home, approach my wife, show the video, explain why there was a tweet of a plant swinging a machete, and then show her this tweet,” exclaimed one viewer. “It’s going to be hilarious if I can get it done.”
This isn’t the first time inventors have freaked out the internet with a bizarre cybernetic hybrid. This summer, Texas scientists developed veritable spider-bots by robotically manipulating dead arachnids so they can grasp objects with their legs.