Italian lab studies plant intelligence

Many successful robots are based on insects, now at the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology investigators are looking into plant intelligence in the hope it too will give us insight into ways to better build robots and smart systems.

…SESTO FIORENTINO, Italy — Professor Stefano Mancuso knows it isn’t easy being green: He runs the world’s only laboratory dedicated to plant intelligence.At the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology (LINV), about seven miles outside Florence, Italy, Mancuso and his team of nine work to debunk the myth that plants are low-life. Research at the modern building combines physiology, ecology and molecular biology.”If you define intelligence as the capacity to solve problems, plants have a lot to teach us,” says Mancuso, dressed in harmonizing shades of his favorite color: green. “Not only are they ‘smart’ in how they grow, adapt and thrive, they do it without neuroses. Intelligence isn’t only about having a brain.”

[ read more Smarty Plants: Inside the world’s only plant-intelligence lab ]