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Project outline.
Locations: FoAM's MidWest_Experimental_Station and Zone2Source in Amstelpark.
Partners: FoAM Ams, Zone2Source, Ivan Henriques, Daan van Geijlswijk .
Machine_Ecology_Het Verhaal

Keywords: ecological robotics, restoration ecology, artificial organisms, artscience, foodwebs, trophic cascades, biodiversity, groworld.

Anthropocentric landscapes are characterized by reduced biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Traditionally the engineering focus on landscape maintenance has been primarily on efficiently extracting these landscapes, in industrial agriculture, forestry, mining and tourism. Machine Wilderness is a project prototyping artificial organisms as a functional agents within biotopes and ecosystems, actively contributing to biodiversity. The new MidWest Experimental Station a research station set up by FoAM in Amsterdam, will provide a test area for ecological robotics and study interactions between biomes and mechanical organisms.

Transplantation Ecology:
The Amsterdam area is an old swamp and much of the Western part of it has been topped-up with some 60 to 80 cm of sand in the 1930. This sand came from the area of het Gooi. With the Goois Natuur Reservaat, we are discussing the possibility of 'transplantation ecology', which is an emerging method of relocating vegetation holistically from natural areas. In our case this would form the biome for artificial animals to interact with. These methods have not been applied often, and we will monitor the development of the test plot with the help off experienced taxonomists and urban ecologists.

Topics: Could artificial beings contribute to biodiversity, microclimates, pollination, zoochorie, reforestation or even fill vacant ecological niches? Could artificial beings interact symbiotically in food-webs? Use foraging strategies as a power source? Predate on invasive species, or enable trophic cascades to create more biodiverse landscapes?

Artists / designers:



Open Source:




Blogs, groups, etc:



Agriculture bots:
Harvesting and Tractors:
Tractors do two things: provide guidance to the devices they are towing, and pulling power. Current tractors are huge and if they break down, the entire operation comes to a halt. Autonomous machines don't need operators and can operate around the clock. Thus tight operational windows can be achieved for seeding and other time-sensitive activities.

Planting, Pruning, Potting, Grafting and Nursery Operations:

Thinning and Weeding:

more listed here: Unibots

Machine Wilderness was the title of ISEA2012, we adopt it in this programme as a working title.