An Interactive Mechanical Flower


For my final project I want to create an interactive mechanical flower. The idea behind the interaction is that the flower thrives off of human touch and connection rather than sunlight and water. I am imagining a structure with a single flower bud and stem mounted on a clear box or frame, and roots suspended underneath (see images below).

Conceptually: I want to accomplish a few things with this. First, I want to explore an organic, fluid, and natural side to mechanical design as opposed to linear and strictly functional. Second, I want to portray the idea that living things need human connection just as much as they need the basics of food, water, shelter, etc.

In terms of what the flower will actually do: I want the flower to close when nobody is around and open when people come closer (the analog to opening/closing in response to sunlight). If possible it would be cool if it could “grow”, maybe get taller or raise and lower, when people touch its roots (the analog to growing in response to water and nutrients).


  • Flower
    • Wood (probably ⅛” basswood, which has worked well for me in the past)
    • Distance sensor
    • DC motor
    • H-bridge
  • Stem
    • Long threaded rod and thing to screw it into
    • DC motor
    • H-bridge
  • Roots
    • Thin wires for the roots
    • Capacitive touch sensor
  • Base
    • Clear acrylic


  • Flower
    • I need code to read the distance sensor and open/close the flower accordingly
  • Stem/roots
    • I need code that will read capacitive touch input and raise/lower the stem accordingly


  1. Make simple petals that open and close using a motor and H-bridge
  2. Make the opening/closing respond to distance sensor
  3. Create a raise/lower mechanism using motor
  4. Mount flower to this
  5. Make the raise/lower respond to touch sensors

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