OSRAM PHYTOFY and The University of Edinburgh: Using robots to understand how plants sense light

For plants to grow environmental conditions need to be optimum, this includes light exposure. The University of Edinburgh has been successfully exploring how robots can be utilised in research to gain a greater understanding of how plants sense light.

Light is a valuable source of energy and information to plants. Through the wavelengths and quantity of light received, a plant can detect fluctuations to monitor time of year and even time of day. Such knowledge is key to plants as it prompts other vital processes, for example flowering or fruit production. Additionally, information gained from light exposure can help plants prepare for cold-snaps and even brace themselves for increased risk of infection from seasonal disease.

To mimic a real-world environment, the Halliday Lab at The University of Edinburgh have created a new robotic system called SOLAR. At the heart of this system sits an OSRAM PHYTOFY LED Research Light. This light enables programming of specific light recipes and spectral compositions that can produce light to recreate sunlight at different time points during the day. By utilising light recipes based on real-world environments, they were able to mimic the light that plants experience outside, whilst still growing them in the controlled environment of a lab.

 

Learn about this fascinating research project from The University of Edinburgh here.

Learn about the OSRAM PHYTOFY LED Research Light from IHS here.

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