A Robotic Flower Garden

In April of 2003, we debued our Cyberflora installation as part of the National Design Triennial, hosted by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. This robotic flower garden is comprised of four species of cyberflora. Each combines animal-like behavior and flower-like characteristics into a robotic instantiation that senses and responds to people in a life-like and distinct manner.A soft melody serves as the garden’s musical aroma that subtly changes as people interact with the flowers. Delicate and graceful, Cyberflora communicates a future vision of robots that shall intrigue us intellectually and touch us emotionally. The installation explores a style of human-robot interaciton that is fluid, dynamic, and harmonious.



1 РChromafant Blossom 
Silicone and aluminum blossoms use capacitive sensing to detect a nearby hand, causing them to gracefully sway and glow bright colors. Originally was to have a translucent outer flower close over a colored inner flower. We kept the translucent idea in the physical implementation.

2 – Cobra Orchid
Translucent acrylic segments give this orchid-like flower its serpentine quality of movement as it orients to the warmth of a human body.

3 – Dragon Iris
Copper blossoms with thermal sensors in the aluminum leaves sense the warmth of people and orient towards them as a flower to the sun. Originally was to have more of a “face” with glowing “eyes.” We kept the orienting face, changed from silver to copper, and removed the “eyes.”

4 – Violet Oscilillies
Inspired by the movement of tall grass to a sweeping breeze, aluminum tines bob and ripple with excitement as a hand passes over them. Orginally was to have the flower telescope and glow. We kept the telescoping idea and added articulated movement of the petals, rather than have it glow.




  • National Design Triennial (2003)
    Cyberflora @ Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY

Fluid, Dynamic and Harmonious Human-Robot Interaction