Botanicus Interacticus

New modes of interaction between humans and living plants.

In a previous project with Disney Research Pittsburgh, we helped to develop a new capacitive touch sensor that creates an electromagnetic field around an object and measures minute disturbances in this field. At SIGGRAPH 2012, we used this sensor to visually express touch contact between a visitor and an orchid. Shapes and colors surrounding the plants were triggered and transformed by the gestures and the proximity between the visitors and the plant in an Aurora-like visual and spatial interactive installation.

An orchid hemmed by Botanicus’ visualization

Botanicus Interacticus explores new modes of interaction between humans and living plants by instrumenting them with rich touch and gesture sensitivity. It allows for rich and expressive interaction with plants. Depending on the physiology of each plant species, Botanicus Interacticus can allow a broad variety of gestures such as sliding fingers on the plant stem, detecting touch and grasp location, tracking proximity between the user and plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact.

We envision a future where interactive devices are not manufactured but are living, growing organisms.
Dr. Ivan Poupyrev


Project lead Dr. Ivan Poupyrev
The Botanicus Interacticus was developed at Disney Research by Dr. Ivan Poupyrev in collaboration with Jonas Loh/Studio NAND, Philipp Schoessler, and Munehiko Sato.

In collaboration with TheGreenEyl, Christian Riekoff, Eric Brockmeyer

Publications Poupyrev, I., Schoessler, O., Loh, J. and Sato, M. Botanicus Interacticus: Interactive Plant Technology. ACM SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies, Article 4 PDF

US Patent