We plan to extend the complexity approach to the realm of plants, at the same time shifting focus from interfacing a single entity (e.g., a human brain to control a prosthesis) to a network of entities (the plants) that altogether contribute to render a coherent vision of the environment in which they live. While artificial sensing devices exist that can monitor environmental parameters of interest, such as temperature or humidity, the focus of our research will be on the use of the plants themselves as sensing devices.
The holistic approach we want to propose is novel: while plants as bio-sensors have been the object of previous studies, prior work has focused on the study of the sensing capabilities of individual plants in a controlled lab environment. In contrast, we plan to consider real field scenarios (e.g. a forest or a meadow), in which plants often receive uncontrollable and unpredictable stimuli. We will consider the case of multiple points of observations, in which readings collected from several plants are collected over a wireless network and integrated in a suitable way to obtain a consistent and global view of an environment of interest.