Mimosa Pudica (also known as “Pokok Semalu”) is an action plant with unique biological cell mechanism that has great potential to be explored as fundamental technology for next generation biomechatronics devices. The motion principle of each petiole movement occurs by an organ of motion, called “pulvinus”, where the motor cells can be shrunk. It is very interesting to consider the biomechanism property and the sensing principle of this plant from engineering viewpoint as well as biological actuator and sensor standpoints. Biomechatronics is an applied interdisciplinary science that aims to integrate mechanical elements, electronics and parts of biological organisms. However, the progress of this novel technology is delayed due to lack of understanding in fundamental and theoretical aspects especially in the areas of biological inspired sensing and actuation principles. Therefore, this project proposes a fundamental investigation of biological sensing and actuation mechanism using the Mimosa Pudica. The main objective is to investigate and clarify biomechanism sensing principles and structure in the Mimosa Pudica plant cell focusing at the main pulvinus. The second objective is to formulate a biomechanism structure model based on Mimosa Pudica sensing principles which includes actuation and sensing feedback.

The methodology is outlined in two main stages. First is to determine behavior analysis of the Mimosa Pudica main pulvinus and petiole against external stimulation such as mechanical, optical and chemical stimulations. The response of the plant cell will be observed using the Live-Cell Imaging Microscope to learn and analyze the biological sensing mechanism inside the plant cell. This analysis will base on phenomenological model of main pulvinus movement at Mimosa Pudica. The outcome of this stage is a set of data chart of the petiole displacement and torque versus time combined with live-cell image data that can be use to determine the control parameters of the cell mechanism. The second stage is to simulate and formulate a controllable mechanism based on biomechanism principles in Mimosa Pudica using the real-time 3D simulation software. This project is expected to deliver a fundamental knowledge of biomechanism sensing principle and a new simulated model that expected to lead towards the new breakthrough in development of biomechatronics and micro-nano devices.

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