H2020 Future and Emerging Technologies
Environmental Intelligence - Radically novel approaches to resilient, reliable and environmentally responsible in-situ monitoring
I-Seed is an European project funded under the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Proactive Environmental Intelligence call of Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation.
I-Seeds focuses on monitoring environmental parameters in air and top-soil by using a novel system of self-deployable and biodegradable soft miniaturized robots, inspired by the morphology and dispersion abilities of plant seeds.
What's special in seeds?
Seeds dispersal strategies are driven by the spontaneous, often reversible, anisotropic deformation of their tissues upon swelling or drying of cell walls, and do not require any control or internal energy supply.
"Seeds are one of the most significant examples of morphological computation in the natural world, and have recently been encompassed as model for biologically inspired engineering designs, including robotics"
From Nature to Nature
Following a bioinspired design, I-Seed will implement the skills of natural seeds into seed-like robots by using multi-functional biodegradable materials and natural morphological features, which will endow them with the ability to fly and disperse via natural vector-mediated diffusion in air, or to respond to humidity variations to move on terrain surface and self-penetrate in topsoil for in situ measurements.
I-Seed will build a radically new dynamic scenario for analyzing and monitoring air and topsoil environments and their interface, extending environmental sensor networks and filling existing gaps of data analysis systems.