I hadn’t realised that there was research on creating interactive pet plants that are able to display emotions!
From the description of “My Green Pet” (Hwang et al. 2010):
“The difficulty that children have in perceiving plants as living entities has been verified by several studies. As an initial attempt to address this issue, we propose “My Green Pet”, an interactive plant for children. Through this, children enjoy human-like interactions with the plant and also perceive that this particular plant is living. This is achieved by personifying a regular plant by giving it human feelings and emotions, such as pain, joy, laughter, etc. The interactive plant is implemented over a current-based framework, which enables it to recognize multiple gestures and give audio and visual feedback to the user. The effectiveness of the interactive plant on the conception of plants on children was studied with a simple user test. We observed the children interacting with “My Green Pet” and noticed interactions resembling those between people. We also noticed the children being increasingly curious about the plant, resulting in spending more time with “My Green Pet”. A straight-forward questionnaire done by children revealed that the children’s perception of life in plants greatly differed after showing “My Green Pet”.”
What do you think? Would you like to have a green pet plant?